Are you content?
Many years ago, when my son was young, he told me that he was going to buy me a house in an expensive development not too far from here. I told him that while I appreciated the thought, that was the last place I would want to live. The houses were much too big and much too close together.
Our house isn’t new and isn’t large, but its home. I grew up here, so this home is filled with memories. It sits in the woods, meaning there is privacy. And, its paid for.
We discussed cars and trucks over the course of time. I remember the time when my husband was talking about wanting a pick up truck. On the way back home from town one day I passed a pick up for sale parked in someone’s yard. I told him about it and before you could say how much, he had a truck. It had many years on it, but he loved the thing. Even when it needed a lot of parts, even when it burned gas horribly, even when it burned, literally. That was his truck.
It wasn’t straight off the show room shiny. It didn’t have any bells and whistles, there were times it was all he could do to get it to go where he needed. But it was his truck. He was content.
Someone recently won the lottery that had reached one billion dollars. Over the course of years, my son and I have discussed what we would do should we ever win the lottery. Other than getting one hundred percent out of debt, donating to church and making sure family was good, the rest would be placed in a savings account.
As far as I’m concerned, the car I drive is fine. I love this house and land. I don’t need fancy, bright, shiny, elaborate. There isn’t any purpose for that in my life. We rarely play the lottery. The best that my son has ever done was twenty dollars. So it seems pointless to try.
Which was actually the message the Pastor shared in church this morning. What is it? Why is it important? How do we get it?
I won’t go into all he said, even though it really explained it well. I will discuss what I have found in my own life. The Preacher used Philippians 4:10-13 as his scripture reference. Most have heard verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He explained how Paul was saying that no matter the situation, Christ gave him the strength to handle it.
As I was given the strength to fight my battle with cancer. Knowing, that there was not one moment that I was alone. I knew before it was confirmed, but I also felt a peace. Enough that when I did get confirmation, I told the surgeon, you know where it is, take care of it. And the journey began.
I only missed two days for the surgery. For the radiation treatments, I went in early so I could leave early. The radiation sapped my strength to the point there were days when it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. But, with all thanks to the Lord, I made it. That was thirteen years ago.
I was able to get the treatments, and then find the strength to hike the woods behind the house to find a few moments of quiet. Every day, even though I walked the same path, there was something new to see. A gift, proving I was not doing this alone.
Shortly before I was diagnosed, my husband had lost his job. I was not only battling cancer, I was trying to help him find another job. I would go in to work, go for the radiation treatment, come in, take my hike, start supper and then go online to find places to put in applications. I must have put in hundreds of applications.
While all this was going on, there were folks at our church who were very generous. Their monetary gifts kept us afloat. When out of the blue he got a call with a job offer, it was from a company whose name I didn’t recall seeing anywhere on any list. They took a chance. As God once again took care of us.
When I lost my husband, I could have fallen into a deep hole of despair. My world tilted, shifted and fell into a deep darkness. My life a boat broken free of its mooring by the storm of loss. Each new challenge a wave threatening to break me apart. Fear, confusion, anger, loneliness, battering me. Each new thing that needed to be repaired or replaced dragging me deeper.
Over the course of time, I have learned. The Lord is never far from me. His Spirit within me has given me the strength to survive and thrive. I have learned I am stronger with Him. What I cannot do on my own, He sends those to me who can.
Over the months, I have learned to walk closer, to depend, to listen to Him speaking to me. Through scripture, through the message of the preacher, through the words of friends. Letting me know, no matter how long the journey, how dark the night, hour difficult the paths, I am made strong. I know, that as long as my faith is in Him, I CAN do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. In that knowledge, there is peace. There is comfort. There is, contentment.