I complained A LOT today. Yes, I did.
Not out loud — well, maybe a bit…and if you heard it, please forgive me — but deep inside it was much worse than what came out of my mouth. Yeah, honestly.
Then I read this in my trusty Lucado devotional:
Test this question: What if God’s only gift to you were His grace to save you. Would you be content?
You beg Him to save the life of your child. You plead with Him to keep your business afloat. You implore Him to remove the cancer from your body. What if His answer is, “My grace is enough.” Would you be content?
You see, from heaven’s perspective, grace is enough. If God did nothing more than save us from hell, could anyone complain? . . . Having been given eternal life, dare we grumble at an aching body? Having been given heavenly riches, dare we bemoan earthly poverty? . . .
If you have eyes to read these words, hands to hold this book, the means to own this volume, He has given you grace upon grace.
~In the Grip of Grace
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. ~Philippians 4:11
Those are Paul’s words. Not mine.
And he wrote those words from prison. These too:
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:12-13
Earlier in Paul’s life he had been given a thorn in the flesh. It’s not clear in scripture what this was, but most believe it was a true handicap for him. I like the way The Message words this familiar passage:
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then He told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. ~2 Corinthians 12:7-9
It’s a tough lesson. I want to get it learned.
I want to appreciate the gift.
Are you content?