“…Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.“
***Picture above is an exact representation of my face when I read that scripture in it’s entirety.***
Philippians 4:13 is a fan favorite, but I wonder now if people have read the verses before the good part.
Okay, let’s jump right into this because it’s been on my mind long enough. Turns out, I’m not the only one who has had the same thoughts. Many many times as a person of faith, we get discouraged when we feel like God has left us out or doesn’t hear our prayers. And what can (and sometimes will) get us a little out of character is seeing other people we feel are less deserving or not living up to the standard of God well enough to receive their blessings. I know I’m not the only one. I have proof.
First of all, it’s OKAY to feel. Before you’re able to put things into prospective and get checked by God, nothing decreases your holy stamina more than seeing people “in the world” or “sinners” (because we totally don’t do THAT, right? *wink*) have what we pray for for what seems like years! When I was in high school, I would envy those around me whose parents kept their promises of getting them cars simply because they got their license at 16. Ummm… I got my license at 16 as well and no car. I graduated high school, no car. I went to college, no car. I graduated from college TWICE and still no car! What made it even worse is, I am the only child. I kept good grades. Didn’t skip school.
In 2015, post degrees and a child, I make a gigantic leap of faith and put two down payments on a brand new car. BY. MY. SELF. My parents tried to talk me out of it because they didn’t think I understood what type of responsibility I was putting on myself. I did and all I needed was a co-signer. Drove off the lot the same day I laid eyes on Aqua. I promised God if He would continue to make a way for me to keep up with payments, I would treat this car like the blessing it really was. I’d keep it clean. Keep a clean record. Not let people smoke in it, take my keys, etc. I’d use this blessing to give Him any oune of glory any time I got the chance. You’d be surprised at the work and the mileage He’s made me put in since. Best decision I ever made. Almost 3 years later, me and Aqua still rocking and she still looks and runs like new.
Moral of the story, God sees you. Sometimes He’s waiting for us to make a move that will show that He can trust us with things. Sometimes He wants us to work a little harder than the average person because 1) We’re not average and 2) We’ll appreciate what’s given a lot more.
Another thing I’ve learned is that tangible things people have doesn’t fulfill them spiritually or mentally. Think about how many rich people are depressed and mentally unstable because it’s too much to handle. Or how they become paranoid, thinking somebody is going to take something from them. And even living in a big house, full of people and alone. There are people who live in apartments alone and can’t get a decent night of sleep because of the mental battles they face behind closed doors. I’d much rather have my sanity when it’s all said and done. Most things we yearn for are unknowingly only going to please our flesh and not the Father. I’ve heard my pastor say, “A lot of y’all would stop coming to church if you won the lottery.” Funny, yet true.
Ultimately, I don’t want anything in my life that will steer me away from God or my purpose on this earth. Timing is everything. You won’t be blessed with anything before it’s time because Lord knows, we can screw some stuff up. To be honest, it’s a lot of stuff we just don’t need to be whole or to feel secure/blessed.
“..in all things, I have learned to be content..”
For a while, I had to be content with being taken places and dropped off. I had to be content that if my parents let me drive their car, I had to bring it back whenever they said. I’ve had to be content with having just enough money to pay bills and no extra spending money. I’ve had to be content with having spending money but spending it on my child. I’ve had to be content with me, myself and the kid. I’ve had to be content with not being able to live completely on my own. I’ve had to be content with not having the “perfect figure”. I’ve overcome and seen the better side of each. I truly believe any situation I’m in will turn around for the better but the point is, things aren’t bad. They could be worse and they have been.
I encourage to you to find solace in right now. Find every bit of good in every bad situation or scenario. Be great with what you have now and God will give you the desires of your heart according to His will for you. Nothing more, nothing less. If you ever feel like God isn’t listening, challenge Him. Speak His word back to Him. Be faithful over little and God will grant you more. Work on your relationship with Christ and others. Pray. Forgive. Find your purpose and walk in it. There’s more required of you. There’s levels to this…
Always know, God will only do things in decency and IN ORDER.