Plates of Contentment…

“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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4: 11-13)

Content (verb):

  • satisfied
  • willing
  • pleased
  • to appease the desires of
  • to limit oneself in requirements, desires or action

I went to bed the other night and I was thinking about contentment…I have been doing a lot of that lately.  I was thinking about how after any given meal, one might be asked if they would like anymore food…and often the answer is a hearty “no” because they are stuffed…full…satisfied…pleased with what they have eaten…they are content.

I wondered if the various states of contentment could be found on plates…yes, my pre-slumber thoughts are quite interesting…you are blessed I don’t share more often…

If I am having a meal at a really nice restaurant…I would probably order crab cakes…to me they are incredibly yummy…something special…especially since Carl is allergic to shellfish…it is not a common occurence…a definite splurge in my book…to me, this is a plate of abundance.

Grilled cheese…the ultimate comfort food…would you agree?  There are days where nothing hits the spot like a couple slabs of cheese melted between toasted bread…this is a plate of ordinary.

If you can’t tell what is heaped onto this plate…they are brussel sprouts…I have some strong adjectives for this vegetable…none fit into the encouraging nature that I desire for the posts on this blog…but let’s just say they are not my favorite.  They would not make my top 25 vegetable list…not even a dishonorable mention.  To me and forgive me if brussel sprouts give you untold joy, but to me, this is a plate of lack.

I know that each of us could fill our plates with what we consider abundance, ordinary and lack.  When I read Paul’s words, I am reminded that in different seasons of my life and sometimes even different weeks in my life, I have known abundance, I have known ordinary (not too much, not too little) and also lack.  Yet…if this is the plate placed before me…I must eat it and be satisfied.  Yes…crab cakes and grilled cheese are much tastier than mini cabbages but I can eat of each plate and be satisfied. I must eat from my plate of brussel sprouts not constantly look across the table at my neighbor eating crab cakes. 

John Piper says…”God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.”

What plate are you eating from today?  Seek to be content…satisfied with Him…pleased with what has been provided…I love the last definition of being content…to limit oneself in requirements, desires or action…

Contentment comes when we choose to not put parameters around what will make us happy…but finding it in God alone…Paul knew this reality and he learned the secret…He knew…believed…that although it seemed impossible to be completely content in any situation…he could do all things through Christ who gives strength.

I have a voice recording of Caleb through the monitor in our bedroom…one morning he woke up singing which is common place…this morning this was his song…

Be happy, be happy, be happy happy happy happy…

Be happy, be happy, be happy happy happy happy…

On and on it went…his morning may have held before him a bowl of cheerios, or some blueberries or some pancakes from IHOP…but regardless…he would be happy…he chose it…he began his day before his chubby toes hit the floor.

The Westminster Catechism says…The chief and highest end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever

Enjoy plates of life regardless of the contents (pun intended)…Enjoy God!

“Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4: 11-13) (MSG)

With an outstretched empty plate,

Helen

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3 thoughts on “Plates of Contentment…

  1. I loved this analogy…even though it seems that my plate has had more brussel sprouts than crab cakes or grilled cheese lately. I just need to remember that God made brussel sprouts too and they have a purpose as well. Blessings to you this day!

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  2. actually, after a week drinking water from the river I don’t really feel like quite eating. I’ve spent most of the day sitting…… there….. and the Kazakhstan toilet paper is just like sand paper…. sorry for this comment, but when I read your post I thought “oh dear… I wish I could it even eat the brussels sprout as I’m not touching food today…”
    Well, thank you always for your wonderful words.
    God bless you
    br.freddie

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  3. Hi Karen,
    I know…I have been experiencing many different types of plates over the last year…it is difficult at times but we are not alone and He never leaves in the midst of what feels like crumbs.

    Hi Freddie,
    So sorry to hear about the stomach troubles…not fun…not fun at all. I guess when all has been taken away…even brussel sprouts so down right scrumptious…good perspective!

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