By Kenneth Jackson

By Kenneth Jackson

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Be Content"--but how Lord?

Has your path ever crossed someone else's path and you looked back and wondered if it was "chance" or a "divine appointment?"  This happened to me recently in Mardel's bookstore in Waco.  I looked up and there was my cousin, Karen, who lives in Brownwood, who I rarely ever see.  She had come to Temple to have her hair cut and heard there was a Mardel's in Waco.  She said she NEVER comes to Waco.  In her basket was a book--"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.  Karen told me about the book, and I bought one.  This book came to me during a time that the last thing I was being was "content." Due to swelling in the foot of the leg where I had surgery years ago, the only way I could get relief was to keep the foot elevated which then caused back pain and leg pain.  I had been throwing a big "pity party" about the whole thing and having to "rest" the foot.  You would think that "rest" is easy---it isn't--it is contrary to our human nature.  I did my share of "murmuring and complaining."  Then, I began to read the book---the author's story of her journey to the miracle of joy, trust and resting in the Lord.  She began to read in scriptures that "giving thanks" always preceded the miracle.  When Jesus fed the multitudes, He gave thanks, broke the bread and the miracle happened.  The night before He was crucified, He gave thanks and broke the bread, then the miracle of His death and resurrection happened.  Ann began her journey by starting a "blessings journal" where she began to write down one thousand gifts of grace--blessings--to give thanks for.  The result was not only the miracle of joy but "being content."  Paul tells us in Philippinans 4:11---"I have learned in whatever state I am, in this to be content."  We as humans are slow learners and we try to do it in our own strength, even saying "I WILL be content, I WILL be content--I WILL, I WILL!!!!--only to find out that our striving to be content never works!!  When all along, He wants to do it for us---Grace--God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  Only the Father can teach us and take us to the place of truly "being content."  It is pure GRACE!!!  He does it!!  It is also "giving thanks" that comes pouring out of our hearts--not just words--and we find out that we cannot be murmuring and complaining at the same time that we are "giving thanks."  What are those "gifts of grace--blessings" that you and I can "give thanks" for today?  I am truly thankful to God for allowing me to share His life with you in this blog.  I give thanks to Him for each one of you taking the time to be part of this journey----this amazing journey of GRACE!!!  His grace is sufficient to teach us and take us to the place of "being content" in all things.

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