I consider myself to be a reasonably smart person, so why is it that God has to send so many messages my way before I grasp His truths?
As I told you in last Friday's post, Steve and I were in an accident, but we were graciously spared injuries. God clearly indicated that He wasn't through with His assignment for us during our days on earth. His work in us wasn't completed. Phillippians 1:6b -- ". . .He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." In that moment, not a single material possession mattered. We were alive.
But there's more.
While we were staying in Dahlonega at The Smith House (I wrote about it on Monday), I noticed and said hi several times to another couple also staying there. One afternoon, I was walking toward the square to browse the shops for a little while when I saw them coming back from the same place. Casually, I said, "Did you find any treasures?" The woman quickly said, "Oh no. We don't need any more treasures. At this stage of our lives, we're trying to give away the ones we have." In my defense, I only bought some special tea and a couple of pieces of chocolate when I was in the shops, but those words have stayed with me. How true it is, ESPECIALLY AT MY AGE. What other "treasures" could I possibly need or want? Steve and I have gone through the process after our parents passed of dealing with all they left behind. It's a massive ordeal. So little of what they had accumulated -- furniture, decor items, kitchenware, china, books, clothes, etc. etc. -- were items we needed, wanted, or had a place to put. I know the same will be true for our children. Why, oh why, do I get the urge to add more? At what point does a person say, "Enough is enough. I'll enjoy what I have and maybe even start giving away some things while I can choose the recipient and have the pleasure of watching them use those things."
And here comes Christmas. I know for a fact that I'd rather have an experience, a memory-making time, with my children and grandchildren than a "thing." If they want to give me an hour or two of their attention and company, that would be the loveliest gift I could imagine.
Then, as if I hadn't REALLY gotten the message, we attended Matt's church Sunday morning in Franklin, TN, and, you guessed it, the sermon topic was "Struggle and Contentment."
Phillippians 4:10-12 -- "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12 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."
Matt spelled out the "secret of being content" with plenty of biblical evidence to back it up. Let me encourage you to watch and listen by following this link -- https://westfranklinchurch.com/sermons/struggle-and-contentment
Intimacy with Christ, feeling/recognizing/being confident of His presence and the assurance that He is near -- THAT is the secret to being content in every circumstance. Phillippians 4:5b -- "The Lord is near." No material thing can come close to providing that kind of contentment and satisfaction.
So, what is on your Christmas wish list this season? Do you need to think about that question a little longer?
I am preaching to myself today. My goal is "being content whatever the circumstances," but it is an ongoing process.