Contentment with the flu?

Another weekend visit with my parents is over, and so is another battle with the plague. On their last visit, over the Christmas holidays, I was laid up for a few days. In fact, if it were not for my mother cooking there would have been no turkey dinner on the 25th.

This visit they arrived the day after Jon battled the flu. Kate had it the previous week so I felt hopeful we were finished. But alas, Nick vomited in the grocery store Saturday morning and by Saturday evening I had joined in the fun. Thankfully, my mom and dad were here to help because Kevin was away at the youth retreat.

I suspect Kevin was very happy to be away at the youth retreat!

Life is funny. Everything can be going along great, and the next minute it hits the pooper changing everything. Something as simple as the flu brings life to a halt.

Sickness, change, and unexpected roadblocks have a way of altering our well-laid plans. The apostle Paul dealt with all this and more yet he still managed to say, “I’ve learned in whatever state I am to be content (Philippians 4:11).”

I cannot imagine Paul’s snakebite felt good. I’m guessing the shipwreck wasn’t in his plans. Jail was not a vacation for Paul. How could he be content?

I suspect Paul knew the difference between contentment and happiness. Happiness depends on so many things we are unable to control, like circumstances and other people. Contentment is a peace of mind that comes from knowing and believing God is in control. That belief changes everything.

Paul could be content because he trusted God.

Am I striving to be content in life, or to be happy? There is a world of difference. My goal is not to be happy in life (although I hope I get to be!). My goal is to please God. I choose to trust Him.

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