Have you noticed that Summer has arrived? If you haven’t, just wait, you will. This is how I can usually tell that our wonderful south Florida Summer has come: when I bathe, get dressed, walk outside the house thirty feet to my car and when I get in – I feel like someone has rubbed a glazed doughnut all over my face.
Is it just me? I doubt it.
But don’t misunderstand my description for complaining. Several years ago I learned a very valuable lesson that has had a profound spiritual impact on my life. There was a July Summer day that I was grumbling about how hot and humid it was and wondering aloud how nice it must be in another part of the country. At that moment, a wise man looked at me and said, “Brent… it’s hot everywhere in July.”
Wow!! Simple, but so true!
He wasn’t providing a meteorological analysis of the climate zones of the United States, but instead he was telling me: “Be content.”
Too many times in our lives we look at our circumstances and wish things were better – or at least different. But spiritually speaking, we need to learn to be content with the life that God has given us – even if it stinks (for right now.)
St. Paul wrote these words: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
Paul was sharing the reality of his life – that he had learned to be content. Whether he was poor or rich – regardless of the circumstances of his life – he was content. Oh, and just for a frame of reference… Paul wrote these words while in prison in ancient Rome!
But before we say to ourselves, “Well, that was the great St. Paul and I could never do that.” Let’s read a bit further: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Do you see that?! Paul couldn’t do it on his own either!! He understood that his contentment in life – even in prison – came because Jesus Christ enabled him to deal with it.
So the next time life gives you a bad turn or the next time you find yourself complaining… seek to be content. Try to find the reality of the situation you are in – that God is doing something for a bigger purpose than yourself and He will get you through it. Learn to be content.
Socrates is credited with saying: “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
Why? Because it’s hot everywhere in July.