Contentment

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Me and Aviya at a food distribution in Kajiado.

I’m sure we have all read Philippians 4:13; you know, “I can do all things though him who gives me strength.” I personally, however, never really stopped to fully “get it” in context. The two verses prior to it give it a far deeper meaning: “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.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

In my not-so-long life, I have lived in three countries. I have lived in a $10 million-dollar house on the Indian Ocean and in a converted two-car garage. I have lived in the suburbs of Grandville, Michigan, and on a banana farm in the middle-of-nowhere, South Africa. I now live in a third floor apartment in Nairobi, Kenya. If I have learned one thing during my time in Africa, it is how to be content wherever I’m at. I can’t truthfully say that I have always been happy. I’ve seen sad things and been in hard situations. My joy, however, is different; I have decided that I won’t let anybody, or anything, take it from me. My God is wonderful and amazing, and I have learned how to be satisfied by Him, living continually in His presence.

For years the cry of my heart has been a line from a Tenth Avenue North song: “Satisfy me Lord; I’m begging you, help me see, you’re all I want, all I need. Satisfy me, Lord.” I’m coming to the realization that He has satisfied me; He has become my heart’s cry, my greatest desire, my burning passion. Now, because of that, I am content; my joy no longer rests on circumstances or things. I, like Paul, have learned and embraced the secret to an amazingly full and joy-filled life. What is the secret? “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) He gives me His strength, and with it, I can do all things because He is my satisfaction and my source.

My Kenyan rose makes it first bloom.

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