Monday, June 18, 2007

Learning to be Content

In Phil. 4:11, Paul says he has "learned to be content in whatever circumstances". This is a truth of scripture that I am still trying to learn. And since it keeps coming up, I assume God intends for me to grow in this area as well.
Whether it is getting the flu the day before vacation, getting an email from my seminary professor indicating that I did not receive notice of a schedule change which moved my class up a week, surprising issues at work (like the ones that could have been prevented had you known about them in the beginning but the first time you find out is when the bottom falls out and your on vacation...sort of), surprises in ministry (like problems in marriages that were hidden until it reached a point where the hearts of both the husband and wife had grown hard). And the list goes on...
They happen most every day and so many times I never see them coming. It reminds of my days playing baseball when I would stand at home plate looking for the fast ball and out of nowhere comes the curve. I never saw it coming. Completely fooled and looking silly.
Maybe part of the answer to these challenges in life is to look for the curve (I never learned to do that in baseball by the way). Expect the unexpected.
This seems to be what God is teaching me lately. I need to be flexible enough to adjust to life's unexpected turns while having faith and trust that God will lead me through whatever circumstance I may encounter.
This is different than my normal course where my tendency is to panic, look to myself to press through the difficulty and ask God to bless MY efforts to turn things around. The inevitable result is failure or exhaustion or disappointment (or all the above).
So God, I come to you with a desire to rest in you, a desire to submit to you, a desire to follow you. May your grace teach me to grow in this area of trust, may your love compel me to walk faithfully, may the fellowship of your Spirit teach me to adjust to life's turns.

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