I am really ready for it to be fall. I keep tricking myself into thinking that the air is getting crisper outside, only to look at the temperature gage in the car that reads 89 degrees. Why is it that near the end of a season we wish for the next? It is almost as if anticipation for the next season exceeds the joy of the season we are in. I long for autumn at this moment. I long to see the crisp colors of leaves, see my breath on the icy morning air and smell pumpkin muffins baking in the oven. There are so many wonderful joys of fall, but my heart knows that once it is here and proceeds into winter I will be wishing for spring and summer again. I’m beginning to notice the endless cycle of wishing for the next and missing the present in my life.
In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul explains that he has “learned” how to be content in every circumstance:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
What is this secret? My heart longs to know the mystery of contentment. What about you? Are you tired of living in an endless cycle of wishing away today for the tomorrow? Jesus promised those who follow Him would have “abundant life” – overflowing, to the brim. Paul tells us the secret in verse 13:
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (ESV)
“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT)
The secret? It is Christ. The mystery of being joyful when the bank account is low is Christ in me. The secret to loving those who persecute you is Christ in me. The answer to your pain, your exhaustion, your feelings of being overwhelmed at the pressures of this life is Christ in me.
It is too easy for us to look for answers in every place but Christ. We fill up our schedules to see if we will feel fulfilled, but at the end of the day we are drained. We put our hope in what others think of us, but then we live in a prison of insecurity. We work harder to make more money or we go on vacation to escape the pressures of life. When all the while we have the hope. We have the truth. We have the answer, the secret to contentment – Christ in me.
It is Christ who supplies all joy. Christ who gives us strength. Christ who gives us peace. Christ who gives us life. Christ who gives us an identity. Christ who gives us freedom that was paid for at the cross. Christ who satisfies our longings. Christ who equips us for tasks too large for us. Christ who helps us laugh when sorrow overtakes our hearts. Christ who provides manna from Heaven when we feel we can’t get by.
The secret is out, sisters. Let us “learn” this secret and cling to the cross. Summer is hanging on a little longer and I am going to soak it up as much as I can. Learning takes time. But, what joy will we partake in as we learn that Christ in me is where all our contentment is to be found.
He is not just enough. He is more than enough.
Father, open our hearts to fully understand that Christ is in us and that He is our life. May we be ready learners and may we live out our days in joyful adoration of our Savior. Don’t let us wish away the blessings of today and miss being joyfully in the present. We thank you, Jesus, for being the answer. We thank you for filling us up with inexpressible joy in You! We love, Lord. May our contentment in this season bring you glory. Amen. (So Be It)