This past week has been the most painful time ever for someone very, very dear to me. That person is constantly in my thoughts day and night, and is continually lifted up to our Father God in prayer. My heart cries for them, and my hope is that this ordeal will result in peace and restoration. Please listen to this heartfelt song by Matthew West:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Happy New Year!
“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.” How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that.” Otherwise you will be bragging about your own plans, and such self-confidence never pleases God.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Yes, I realize that the apostle Paul was not referring to a state in the USA in the passage above. He means, of course, the conditions in which he finds himself. I believe he’s mostly talking about material needs here, but the same applies to one’s state of mental well being, physical health, and sure, even the place where you live.
For me, the place I most need to learn contentment is the condition of my physical body. I’m working on being content with the size and shape that it is, and this is becoming easier for me the older I get. What isn’t as easy is accepting that my body can’t DO as much as it did ten years ago. I’ve had to give up my favorite forms of exercise (long distance walking and aerobic workout DVD programs) due to foot problems, ironically caused by those very activities. My body has more pains and less flexibility, although I’m fighting both as hard as I can. Yoga is something wonderful I discovered several years ago that is helping with those issues tremendously. I may not be able to do as much as before, but I can still do something!
Yes, I can do all things in the strength that Jesus gives me.
(Photo: US State pieces in my Frankoma pottery collection.)