The Strength of Contentment
We're watching via satellite a young Native woman, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, talk to the judge. This drinking spree may cost her years of trying to provide a better life for herself and her children. After three years of walking with her through her struggles, we feel almost as dejected as she looks.
A relative, who is dear to us, is writhing on the floor in spasms of pain. Her emancipated body is wrapped in a blanket to ward off the chills. She alternately begs me to hold her and then yells out and pushes me away. For the second time, she has walked out of the detox center before the drugs were out of her system. I know by tonight she will take her chances again with the needle.
Both of these women have experienced years of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
With the support of Lutheran Indian Ministries, we are able to minister to those God has put in our life. It is our job to help others to find contentment in Christ instead of searching for something else to fill their emptiness. It is our job to show them that God fills the emptiness better than drugs or alcohol, better than wealth or human love.
The apostle Paul witnessed other people's sorrows and troubles, as well as experiencing his own, but he rested in knowing that he was a redeemed servant of God. He knew how to sit with someone in their pain and welcomed others of the faith to share in his, all the while being content in Christ alone.
The contentment Paul was talking about is much bigger than any individual situation you face in your day. This kind of contentment must encompass your entire life. It is saying: By God's grace and His might, I will continue the work He has set before me whatever the situation. As Paul says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Dear Lord, I am thankful that your grace is sufficient for me and for the world. Help me to show others my contentment by my actions and words. Please continue to encourage me with the knowledge that you have a plan for me in your Kingdom, as I come to you daily in prayer and thanksgiving.
In Jesus name, Amen
Dave (Nuu-chah-nulth) & Rosemary Sternbeck