Tag Archives: Contentment

The Gift of Contentment

I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of being a contented mother and wife. Contentment can be an area we struggle with as Christian women. This is evident in the e-mails I receive from moms, and I recognize it in my life. While we should be the most contented women on the face of the earth, we may live our lives dissatisfied and striving for something different. Here is a request that was recently sent in as a Mom’s Corner topic. First the mom shared a specific situation with me, which isn’t included here, and then she moved on to her question.

Is my dissatisfaction evidence of God leading us to further changes or just my own flesh lacking contentment? I also don’t want to throw my family into upheaval when it’s just me struggling with the transition of homeschooling. It is my personal tendency to look for greener grass on the other side of the fence. When is it appropriate to press God for change, and when is it best to put your head down and press faithfully on with what you’ve already been given?

My husband and I continue to discuss it at length. We are not at odds. I am not nagging him. We just continue to discuss topics as they come up, remaining open to the other’s heart on this subject.

A Questioning Mom

Scripture has some specific verses for us when we begin to think about contentment. Let’s start with them as a basis for our discussion.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

When I am asking myself the questions this mom is asking—is my dissatisfaction an indication of God’s leading or my own flesh lacking contentment?—I usually become aware that the answers involve my selfish heart. I am not choosing obedience to what the Lord Jesus has told me in these verses that have to do with contentment. Being dissatisfied is a symptom of that disobedience. If I am not being obedient, would He use my disobedience as a vehicle to prompt change? I don’t believe He will. Instead, I am to learn to be content, to rest in the Lord Jesus and where He has me at the moment. Then if there is to be change, He will orchestrate it.

My first goal is to repent of the lack of contentment. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 that he learned contentment. It wasn’t a state of mind that came naturally for him. It was a process that involved times of both hardship and bounty. Contentment with plenty was obviously not as difficult as contentment with hunger or need, but he said he had to learn it in both states. With God’s strength Paul chose to take his thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and be content. That is exactly what I need to do as well.

My experience has been that God brings change as a result of my contentment, not my discontentment. For example, for the past two years we have had no place to practice our family music except our living room. This means we always have instruments out in the living room. For a month or so before a trip, we also have our sound equipment out for practice sessions. The open area of our living room becomes filled with microphone stands and cables snaking everywhere. While I don’t prefer the instruments and sound equipment to be out, I have been content with it. Last year, it became evident that our Titus2 ministry had outgrown our present home. We are now building another house that will accommodate the book storage needs, and it will also allow us an upstairs room where we can practice our music.

Discontentment seems to breed murmuring and complaining—a negative attitude toward the problem or situation. However, Scripture tells us to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Philippians 2:14). Whatever we are discontent about becomes our focus and the topic of our regular complaints. Therefore, it also easily leads us to being a contentious woman—certainly a bad example for our children: “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Proverbs 27:15).

Sometimes there is a problem or need in our school or with the children. As I pray about it and take it to Steve, it isn’t discontentment on my part that brings the solution. Rather, it is my accepting the situation and waiting on the Lord for His direction if there is to be a change of any kind. If I am not content and willing to wait on the Lord and my husband, then I become that contentious woman—nagging—a continual dripping to him.

I want my children to be content. Not only do I want them to be content, but I want them to be grateful as well. That begins in my heart and with my attitude. I can’t expect from them what I don’t have victory over in my own life. They will be aware of my discontent because they will hear my murmuring words and sense my negative heart.

Contentment is not complacency. If my house is a mess, I am not to be complacent by choosing not to clean it while saying I am content with the state of my house. However, if I am sick and can’t clean the house as I normally would, then I need to be content to wait on the work until I am well.

I would encourage the mom who wrote to me to work on learning to be content in the area in which she is dissatisfied. Then as she rests in the Lord, she will observe what He will do with the situation. Perhaps He will leave it as it is. Perhaps He will change it the way she is wanting it to be. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:4-5). Perhaps it will take a turn she couldn’t even envision at this point. It all starts with a focus on the questions: What is my delight? Is it in me and what I want, or is it in my Lord Jesus? May I encourage each of us to be known as women of contentment.

Titus Two Encouragement for a Young Mother – Part 2

Last month I began answering questions posed to me by a mom with two small children. Her desire is to have many children and the energy to keep up with them all. At the age of fifty-one with eight children, three of whom are now adults age twenty-five and older, I can relate to her thoughts and concerns. I asked her permission to use her letter and answer her questions in these Mom’s Corners. As a reminder, here is the information she gave me with her questions:

“I have just two children. They are both very young, and I am very tired. I would love for our family to keep growing, and I dream of having LOTS of children, but I am worried about how I’m going to find the energy to keep up with everyone. I am having a hard time with my energy levels now. I do take naps nearly everyday. I am naturally a night owl, but would LOVE to be an early riser. I really need to get up earlier than everyone to get everything done in the day. But it seems hopeless to be able to do so. Do young children really take so much energy out of you like people say? I don’t like that excuse for being tired, but the daily chores of changing two diapers, changing two outfits, feeding two extra people, brushing mine and their teeth, and finally finishing about the time a snack or lunch is needed seems like it zaps my energy. Being overwhelmed when you are tired only makes things harder. I need some encouragement from those who have had their children close together, and any advice on how to keep myself healthy while having children and managing them.” A young mom (used with permission)

While I see waiting on the Lord as ultimately the most important aspect of gaining energy for being home with and raising little children, I also highly endorse the use of a daily schedule. Looking back on my days with little children, I realize what a bountiful blessing my schedule was. It gave direction for both my time and my children’s time. I had a concrete plan for the day—to accomplish the tasks I needed to do and to productively spend time with the children. The schedule became the framework for helping me receive more children into my family. The schedule gave me time to teach my children how to do their chores and become responsible. It helped me with my priorities for my time with my children such as reading to them, playing with them, doing preschool activities, and working with them.

I would encourage this mom that even though she is a night owl, she should get to bed at night early enough that she can wake up in the morning before the children. Her time in the Word is imperative to the daily preparation of her heart for her hours of mothering and homemaking. When we change habits, it takes prayer, effort, and determination. Upon choosing to begin going to bed at a reasonable time, one might lie in bed the first few nights unable to get to sleep. However, if we stay the course of going to bed and getting up at the determined times, we will soon find ourselves ready to go to sleep at the earlier bedtime.

I believe a schedule could be the key to finding solutions for the issues with which this young mom is struggling, beginning with her time in the Word. Working with the schedule, we can find the needed bedtime for our children so that we are waking them up when we want them to wake up in the morning—a time that is just after we have our personal Bible and prayer time. The schedule helps Mom, working with her husband, to find the proper time to go to bed each night so that she can arise in the morning to spend time with the Lord Jesus. It can also enable her to accomplish other early morning tasks she might want to do, such as making her husband’s lunch or exercising before he goes to work.

The schedule can ensure that a mom is receiving an adequate amount of sleep. Here is a link to a Mom’s Corner I wrote on the topic of sleep. If she is getting a good night’s sleep, has a nap in the afternoon, and is still tired during the day, she would probably want to seek medical attention to determine whether there is something causing her excessive tiredness such as a thyroid problem or other treatable medical condition. A day with busy children and toddlers does take energy, but shouldn’t, as this mom is indicating, cause her to be “very tired” and “zap my energy.”

Sometimes young mothers neglect a healthy diet and therefore undermine what would be of great benefit to them: to have the energy they need for their active and growing families. The time investment in preparing nutritious food will pay dividends in the family’s overall health and in developing good eating habits in the children. From the time my children were about two years of age, I began including them as meal preparation and cleanup helpers. When they were young, they were little real help, but they were productively occupied, learning new skills, and fellowshipping with Mommy. As they grew older, some of my time pressures were relieved because the children were able to do much of the kitchen work, reducing the amount of meal jobs that I had to accomplish.

Weather permitting, when the children were young, I always took them for a walk. That way I was getting exercise, and they were burning off some of their abundant energy. The walking was good for my health and the children’s as well. The mom who was asking these questions had also indicated to me that she wouldn’t feel safe walking in her neighborhood. In that case, if she has transportation, she could drive to a safer neighborhood.

Titus Two Encouragement for a Young Mother – Part 1

Recently a mom asked me some pertinent questions about life with young children. As stay-at-home-mommies, we want our days to be filled with joy, love, contentment, and fulfillment. Over and over others tell us that the years when our children are little go by quickly and that we should be treasuring each day. However, we may feel that those giving us counsel have long forgotten the fatigue of being up in the night with babies and sick children, the drudgery of mundane household tasks, and the loneliness without adult companionship. Here is specifically what was asked:

“I have just two children. They are both very young, and I am very tired. I would love for our family to keep growing, and I dream of having LOTS of children, but I am worried about how I’m going to find the energy to keep up with everyone. I am having a hard time with my energy levels now. I do take naps nearly everyday. I am naturally a night owl, but would LOVE to be an early riser. I really need to get up earlier than everyone to get everything done in the day. But it seems hopeless to be able to do so. Do young children really take so much energy out of you like people say? I don’t like that excuse for being tired, but the daily chores of changing two diapers, changing two outfits, feeding two extra people, brushing mine and their teeth, and finally finishing about the time a snack or lunch is needed seems like it zaps my energy. Being overwhelmed when you are tired only makes things harder. I need some encouragement from those who have had their children close together, and any advice on how to keep myself healthy while having children and managing them.” A young mom (used with permission)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I believe this verse is a key to the energy a mom needs when she has babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her strength comes from the Lord so that she can go through each day with high-energy children but not be weary or faint. This does not negate getting adequate rest, which I will discuss in part 2 of this Mom’s Corner series. However, it highlights the importance our daily relationship with Jesus Christ has on the practical aspects of having enough vigor for two small children and then perhaps even more children in the future.

Our daily lives involve a spiritual battlefield. These battles are waged in our minds, and they involve our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I have a choice set before me. I can look at the tasks that fill my day in one of two ways: with a self focus or with gratitude. When I take my thoughts captive, I fill my mind with thankfulness to the Lord Jesus for my children and for the fact that I am able to stay home with them. I rejoice in the opportunity I have to influence my children for Christ every single day. I think about the provision He has made for me and view the responsibilities He has given me in my home with happiness.

I can also choose to allow negative thoughts to enslave my mind. Then I become discouraged thinking about being lonely, not liking to change diapers, wanting more sleep, or my lack of freedom. I am entangled by my mental decision that “it” is too hard, and I am too tired. Essentially I make myself discontent by choosing unhappiness, which causes me to feel like I have no energy because I don’t want to face that for which I am not pleased.

Practically speaking, I would encourage this mom to take her thoughts captive in this way: When it is teeth brushing time, praise Jesus for being home with the children to brush their teeth. Thank Him for the home He has provided and a husband who is supporting his family. Smile at the children as you brush their teeth. Tell them how much they are loved by you, how wonderful they are, how you delight in being their mommy, and how you are looking forward to seeing what the Lord Jesus is going to do with their lives. Sing to them.

Do the same when you are getting them dressed in the morning. Keep your thoughts on Jesus and His goodness to you while you are joyfully interacting with your children. Make your words pleasant and cheerful whether you really feel like it or not. In making this choice, I believe a mom is waiting on the Lord. She is following what she knows He wants her to do, and I think the result will be the energy she desires.

There will come times when a mom is emotionally feeling down and discouraged, perhaps because of hormones or from physically being tired. Then grab hold of the encouragement found in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” In the midst of discouragement or weariness, we can still choose what we will do with our thoughts, and I truly believe as we take them off of ourselves and put them on Jesus, we will, as Isaiah says, “mount up with wings as eagles.” In that process, Jesus gets all the glory because His grace was sufficient and His strength was made perfect in our weakness.

When a mom has only one or two small children, it is the time in her life to cultivate a moment-by-moment communication with Jesus. With few or no adult interactions during the day, she can continually be talking with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a time to: memorize Scripture (Psalms 119:11), rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4), in everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18), not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6), be content (Philippians 4:11), do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). When my mind is filled with the Word, a desire to obey, and thoughts of Jesus, I am energized and joyful. It is during the moments when I start looking at myself that I become discouraged, and with the discouragement comes weariness.

Contentment – Part 2

In last month’s Mom’s Corner we delved into the difficult topic of contentment. We saw that Paul had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself. However, we also discovered the root of this contentment was not in the situation, but rather in his relationship with Jesus Christ and his trust in His will. We also realized that Paul’s contentment did not mean he didn’t desire change or pray for it in a particular situation. Instead, he was able to fully rest in his Lord Jesus and wait for His timing to work.

This leads us to other important questions for Christian wives and mothers to consider in relation to contentment. We may agree that we want to be content and would like to learn this contentment. However, we don’t really know where to begin. We are too steeped in our natural inclinations and wrong thoughts. Paul is a wonderful teacher of contentment, so let’s again turn to what he has to say. Was there an area of Paul’s life that was difficult for him? What did he do about it? What was God’s response, and how did that affect Paul?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Paul had what he called a “thorn in the flesh.” He asked the Lord three times to be relieved from his “thorn in the flesh.” However, the Lord’s answer was “no.” God had a purpose in Paul’s difficulty and was going to use it as a demonstration of His grace and strength in Paul’s life. What was Paul’s response and ultimately his secret to contentment? He chose to “take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

For me, personally, this goes totally against my natural, fleshly reactions to hard circumstances. What I feel like doing is to grumble, complain, be irritated and unhappy, feel sorry for myself, and try to figure out a solution. I am still at the stage in my Christian walk where I must choose to “. . . [bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) because it isn’t my first, automatic reaction to take pleasure in what I don’t like.

James learned the same lessons as Paul did about contentment and facing the areas of our lives that would rob us of contentment. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). The word “count” means “to consider, deem, account, think” (Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary). This is an act of my will. It is a decision I make as to how I will think about my trials. James didn’t tell me to simply accept my trouble, to endure my difficulties, or to grit my teeth until it was past. No, he said to “count it all joy.” JOY! Doesn’t that sound like an impossible reaction to hardship? It is, when I am relying on myself. I have the choice to make regarding my thoughts. God does the work in my life.

There are two sections of Scripture I would like to look at regarding our view of difficulties. These passages show me that God has purposes far beyond just getting through a struggle. What these verses teach me is that my focus is everything. My natural reactions put myself in the limelight. How does this affect my comfort level? Is this to my liking? Can I see anything positive in it? Scripture tells me that Jesus Christ is to be the center and object of my thoughts and therefore, as always, the focus. When this is true, then I can rest. Resting is the place of faith and trust in my sovereign God. It is acceptance that He knows what is best for my life. I am to count it as joy. When I receive trials with this attitude, then I am content. My joy is not in what is happening but rather in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5).

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh . . . For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11, 16-18).

We know that our attitudes are, in large measure, the attitudes of the home as a whole. Seeing that Scripture teaches us contentment is important and knowing this from personal experience as well, may we seek contentment. May we begin to make the choice to “count it all joy” and to take “pleasures in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Contentment – Part 1

Recently I had a question posed to me about living a life of contentment. I expect this is something with which we can all easily struggle to one degree or another. Sometimes our lack of contentment is in material things, but often it revolves around spiritual desires—areas we know would be God-honoring if they were changed.

Here is what this mom writes:

It seems I am NEVER content with anything. So I decided to write a gratitude list, and it was huge. Then I tried to write a contentment list and there was NOTHING. So I wrote a discontentment list. They were things that I don’t think the Lord would be content with either.

I am grateful that my children’s behavior is improving, but I am not content with their behavior. I am not content. I don’t have a church. I am not content. I don’t have a godly husband. I am not content watching TV every night with my husband. I am not content. We live in such a remote place. I am not content that I’m not more self-disciplined.

For each of those things, there are areas I’m thankful about, but I am never content. I always want more. Just because they’re godly things I want more of, does that make it all right to live so discontented? The Bible tells us to be content. It also tells us to run the race. I don’t think I’m getting it! A mom

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-12 what his experience with contentment has been. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Paul could relate to our struggles with contentment, and then some! Let’s look at the circumstances Paul faced that were a part of his road to learning contentment.

“. . . in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

How could a man walking in obedience to Jesus Christ, who experienced these trials because of that obedience, say he had learned to be content “in whatsoever state I am”? What can we glean from him about contentment? What is Paul’s secret? What is it that helped him to accept the negative circumstances God allowed in his life?

Paul tells us in his own words, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). It was Paul’s relationship with Jesus Christ that made him content. Our contentment does not come in our circumstances or lack of them, but rather in our relationship with Jesus Christ. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

In Paul’s life, it appears that his contentment was rooted in his total dependence on Jesus Christ and obedience to His will. Living in prison, being beaten and shipwrecked certainly could not have been pleasant experiences. However, Paul knew he was doing exactly what the Lord had told him to do. Therefore, he was content no matter what happened.

Dr. Adrian Rogers clarifies this further for us in his book The Lord Is My Shepherd. “Perfect contentment, the kind David discovered, only comes when a person puts his or her complete trust in the Shepherd. You will never have true satisfaction until you can say, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ and mean it. Then, and only then, can you confidently say, ‘I shall not want.’”

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines the word “content,” used by Paul in Philippians 4, as “to be sufficient, to be possessed of sufficient strength, to be strong, to be enough for a thing.” Contentment as defined here is the ability to accept and withstand the circumstances, even negative ones.

One thing we may be dealing with is a difference between what biblical contentment truly is and what we, in our culture, think of it as being. We tend to define contentment as being happy with the way things are and having no desire for change. I don’t think that is the kind of contentment Paul means. Paul’s contentment was rooted in trusting his sovereign God in the situations he was experiencing. However, I expect Paul was happy to be out of prison when he was released.

How does all this relate to contentment in our lives as Christian wives and mothers? For a practical example, let’s take one area from the discontent mom, who shared her heart with us. Since we can probably all relate, we will consider our children’s behavior and find an analogous situation that Paul faced. “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). We see regularly through Paul’s writings that the churches had problems and struggles. They needed to learn and grow. This is true of our children as well.

Did Paul’s contentment mean he did nothing concerning the churches, that he had no desire to see them change? No! Paul prayed for the churches, he taught them, he lived in their communities, and he admonished them. Paul did what the Lord directed him to do in relation to his work with the churches. However, his contentment did not mean he didn’t want to see these churches change. Rather, his contentment was an ability to trust the Lord to work.

Our goals for our children would be similar to Paul’s goals for the churches—that they would walk worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10). We obediently do what we are called to do by bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We pray for our children just as Paul prayed for the churches. Daily, always, in every prayer, without ceasing: these were some of the words he used to describe his prayers for the churches. Through Christ’s strength, we resolutely disciple and teach our children.

We don’t become weary when the task of raising our children is long and difficult. Our contentment is in our relationship with Jesus Christ and joy in Him rather than in what is or isn’t happening in our children’s lives. Contentment, then, means we rest in the Lord’s working in our children’s lives. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). We keep our eyes on Jesus and trust Him.

In conclusion, I would like to share a story about a group of people who have had to flee their homes because of government military persecution. They have been forced to leave their lands, homes, and jobs. Many have lost lives as well. These people are living impoverished lives in refugee camps, in a country not their own, with only the barest necessities provided. They have been given no hope of a change in the future. However, here is the report of a visitor concerning some of the Christians in this refugee camp.

During this time in the camps, he heard singing constantly. Any time day or night, the Christians were singing or studying the Scriptures. They would study into the night and fall asleep at their table, then wake to study some more. At 11:00 at night people were singing. At 3 a.m. he awoke to hear people still singing. Before dawn and throughout the day, everywhere he went, people sang praise to God.

There is nothing in their circumstances to make these people content, yet the sound of their singing expresses contentment. They have nothing, and yet, because of Jesus Christ, they have everything!

As we desire to be the wives and mothers Jesus Christ would have us be, may we daily be content exactly where He has us. May we serve, love, and minister with hearts learning, as Paul did, “. . . in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).