Learning Contentment

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. (Phil. 4:12)
Last November my mother suffered a debilitating stroke, which left her unaware of her surroundings, unable to communicate, unable to eat, and bedfast. My wife Jackie and I rushed to the hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, and spent four days with her. She never knew we were there.
The doctors told us that she had 24 to 48 hours to live. We expected another stroke would take her life. In our crisis, we prayed that if she could not get well, the Lord would take her and save her from the life of a vegetable.
God was gracious and spared her life. In time she went to rehabilitation and to a nursing home that was prepared to continue her treatments. Today she is aware of all that goes on around her, and her memory is remarkable. With the aid of a walker she can go to the cafeteria on her own. She can use her hands and is able to talk on the phone.
Up until a few weeks ago, she was unable to eat. The Lord has restored that gift, and she is feeding herself hard food rather than enduring meals given through a tube to her stomach.
Through it all, mother has not complained. No pity parties, no “why me?” Remarkably, she has said, “God is so good to me.”
God’s grace, when we have borne our own thorns in the flesh, truly is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Learning contentment is a matter of perspective. It is learning to count blessings rather than adapting a mindset of misery over what we do not have.
Contentment must be learned. We are not automatically given it. The key to contentment is in drawing close to God and in gratefully receiving what He grants us. Contentment always follows gratitude.
“God is so good to me.”

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Phil Sanders

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