I woke up this morning with a song on my heart and I want to share with you just the first verse.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
The third line of that verse is what I would like to talk to you about….being content REGARDLESS of your circumstances. But you may be saying “How? You don’t know my circumstances! You don’t know how hard my life is!” You are right. But then again, you don’t know what I’ve had to go through, either. Has it always been easy? No. Have I always been perfect at it? No. But I always find my way back because that’s where peace lives.
There’s a book that I read years ago called “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow and when I find myself being in the land of discontentment, I pull it back out. It’s well worn appearance testifies to the time I’ve spent going over it’s pages. But there’s one page that is highlighted heavily and the page is turned down at the top for easy finding. It tells as story about Ella, a missionary woman who lived Africa in a primitive hut but yet was content and never complained. Her daughter found her prescription for contentment in an old diary of her mother’s. And I quote:
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather.
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
- Never compare your lot to another’s
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
- Never dwell on tomorrow – remember that tomorrow is God’s, not yours.
You may be looking at this and saying….”YOU’RE CRAZY! No one can do that!” And I say…Yes you can…if you want to. It’s all in your perspective…which you have control over. In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul writes this…” I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
I can honestly say I’ve lived those words. Have I done it perfectly? NO! But I can say that when I was not at peace it was because of my thoughts. My attitude. NOT because of my circumstances. So how do I refocus and get my contentment back? Here’s my positive spin on Ella’s words…
- Be thankful in everything – at all times (not for…in).
- Be thankful for what you DO have.
- Again….Be thankful for what YOU have
- Don’t look back on the negative. Learn from it and let it go. Things happened for a reason.
- Be present in today. Enjoy THIS moment. Make memories.
I hope and pray that you will take this and put it to the test. I believe that if you truly give it your best, you will see a difference for the positive. Please let me know how it works for you. Take care my friend and I hope you come back to visit soon.