“In any Circumstance”: Being Content in a Mysterious Time
A passage of Scripture that has often come to mind the past week or so is St. Paul’s exhortation on contentment. Thanking the Philippians for remembering his needs–perhaps through sending supplies or monetary contributions–St. Paul points out that even in times when his earthly needs haven’t been met, he knows how to be satisfied:
I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. (Phil. 4:11-13)
St. Paul is saying that he has acquired the ability to stay calm and fulfilled in whatever situation he happens to find himself in.
It’s almost as though St. Paul is saying that he has not only learned to be content in whatever situation he is in, but whatever time he is in as well–whether in a season of want or plenty, of persecution or prosperity, sickness or health. That, through disciplining himself for contentment, these times–all of them–become beautiful.
To see oneself as content with a particular time or season is in some ways more difficult than simply being content with the situation itself. It confronts us with the real possibility that the situation is not momentary but may endure longer than our perceived ability to tolerate it. . .
Read the full post on the Time Eternal blog…