This week has been quite the week for things breaking down. Our car's exhaust needs to be fixed, the cordless phone died, my laptop appears to have bit the dust and overall there's just lots going on.
But the Lord has been gracious in reminding me that our contentment is in Him. Our ladies' Bible study has just started Ephesians so we were studying Eph. 1:1-14 on Tuesday night. It's an amazing passage at any time but the Bible study went really well and I think we all left understanding more about God's purpose and plan and that it's all to His glory. I have reflected on that passage more than once this week!
This morning, Spurgeon's devotion was on the subject of contentment, specifically Paul's statement that "in all things I have learned to be content". Spurgeon wrote about how we need to learn to be content - it is not a state we are naturally born to. He likens it to that of a garden:
Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.
I have learned over the years how it takes work to cultivate & maintain a garden and it also takes work to maintain contentment, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. And as sure as you think you have attained it, be careful!
He ends with this:
Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.
I pray that I will continue to learn contentment, even at those times of testing, and that this has also been an encouragement to you to continue to be a "diligent pupil in the College of Content".