But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6
Today I saw several wasps and they were utterly engaging. I watched, with awe, as they industriously visited each trumpet flower in search of sweet nectar. And surprisingly, I marveled at how beautiful they were, in their own way. This may seem quite insignificant, yet you would be impressed if only you knew how much I detested wasps in the not-so-distant past. Granted, I generally love all of God’s creation, but there are certain creatures, wasps, for instance, that cause me consternation rather than pleasure. In all fairness, my wasp phobia was the direct result of being allergic to their stings, but that understanding did little to improve my attitude.
Why the sudden change?
As I have previously shared, the last several months have been quite difficult for me. My health had been in decline for quite a while, when a week-and-half ago, I landed in the emergency room with a new, daunting challenge –one that will take a bit to overcome. As a result, I find that my physical senses are dulled. However, the opposite may be said of my spiritual and emotional senses —they have only been heightened.
My experience riding home from the doctors’ office was much like that of watching the wasps. I have always tried to be content living here, in the flatlands of the Midwest where God has placed me, but my heart has always dreamt of living in a cabin near cool mountain streams and flowered meadows, of hiking through scenic mountain trails. Sometimes, if I close my eyes and shut out the sights and sounds of the city, I can almost smell the evergreens. This only deepens my longing. But today, much to my amazement, I looked upon this old, familiar scenery in a whole new way; it never looked as pleasant or as beautiful, nor have I ever appreciated it as much.
Physical challenges seem to have a way of changing our perspective, but why must it take something like this, I wondered, to allow me to fully enjoy certain things. I promptly repented for all the times I grumbled about my dull and unappealing surroundings. Yes, my heart will continue to dream of all the beautiful places that I would love to visit, but I have determined to be more like the Apostle Paul who said, “I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in.” (Philippians 4:11).
There is, after all, great peace in contentedness.