Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Morning - Philippians 4:11

"...for I have learned in whatever state I am,
to be content."
Philippians 4:11

The verse I'm sharing today is probably the very first verse with which I felt a deep connection.  Paul is, of course, talking about his circumstances here.  When I discovered this verse, however, the word "state" had a literal meaning for me.

We had been living very happily in Helena, Montana when my husband, in order to take advantage of a huge promotion, accepted a job offer in Nashville, Tennessee.  Within an hour after getting in the car & heading out of state, we had second thoughts but we brushed them aside.  We told ourselves we were just being silly.  We told ourselves we had made the right choice.  However, deep down inside we both felt we were making a big mistake.

The minute we arrived in Nashville, we hated it.

John worked in Nashville for 5 years & during all those 5 years he attempted to get transferred back to Helena, but the office there had not been happy that he left & therefore punished him by not allowing him to return.  We finally gave up & decided that if we could not get back to Montana, we would try to get as close to Montana as we could.  John started keeping a close watch on job announcements & finally one was posted for a job in the North Dakota office. He applied.  Meanwhile I had been trying to deal with my unhappiness in Nashville.  There were a lot of things to be unhappy about when we were living there.  The school system had to have been the worst in the nation, & it seemed like every night you heard on the news about a murder or rape or burglary or drug bust that occurred in the Nashville area.  We couldn't let our children walk by themselves across the street to visit their friends because there were so many cases of child abduction.  John & I always had to walk with them & then go get them when they were ready to come home.  The cost of living was extremely high.  I'm sure there are other things I've forgotten but those are enough in themselves.  We weren't living in a bad part of town either ... we were in a nice area in the suburbs.  I hated living there so much that I used to tell our children a little story that went like this ...

"One day a very, very, very bad man died & stood before God.  This man had been so bad that God said to him "Hell is too good for you!  You are going to spend eternity in NASHVILLE!"

Anyway, one day during my Bible reading I came across this verse & it really made me sit up & take notice.  We had originally lived in Pennsylvania, then moved to Florida, then to Montana, & now we were living in Tennessee.  The word "state" is what jumped out at me, so I read the verse as if God was telling me that no matter which state I was living in, I should be content.  I started looking for things to be content about & tried to focus on whatever positive things I could come up with.  What I came up with was that if nothing else, Tennessee was a great place to sell crafts.  I began to plan to make various crafts to sell in the local tourist shops, at craft fairs, etc.  I began to tell myself that if God wanted us to stay in Nashville, that is what we'd do.  

Then John got the job in North Dakota ... lol!

I still hold this verse close to my heart although now I read it with Paul's intended meaning.  The Message Bible translation of Philippians 4:11-13 probably says it best.

"Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally.
I've learned by now to be quite content with whatever my circumstances.
I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.
I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry,
hands full or hands empty."

If we can all get to this point in our lives, I think we've done very well.

I wish you all a very blessed week!


Vickie said...

Wow Shirlee! This has been a tough one for me, always. I am quite sure it is tough for us all. Thanks for sharing your story. And I hope you finally settle in the perfect "state".♥

butterfly said...

Your right my friend, if your not happy now you never will be , as the saying goes enjoy each day and be grateful for all things, hugs.

CalamityJr said...

You chose one of my favorite verses for today. Hope your week has been less hectic than mine and you're feeling well. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Great verse. I like it.

Our circumstances before and after moving into this house have been one thing after another.

It's been a good lesson for me on learning to be content. God knows best!

Have a wonderful week!

Michele Inman said...

So sorry to hear you didn't like living in Tennessee. We lived south of Nashville for almost 6 years, made friends there that are like family, and would have retired there if our kids (and grandkids) weren't settled here in the Pacific northwest.

Vicki said...

Great testimony, Shirlee! I love that verse and have claimed it for my own. Whenever people ask me if I'm happy, I always reply that I am content and that is better than happy! Thank you so much for sharing this today.

Robin said...

I really like the passage you chose to share today, Shirlee.

Wishing you a blessed day and upcoming week!

Robin in Virginia

Chris said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing this.

Maggee said...

Hello! Great verse and background story you shared today. Am going to email you... Hugs!

Simply Victoria said...

Thanks for sharing the verse and your story. Good lessons behind it!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam in IL said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I keep bible verses posted in places where I see them throughout the day. This is one that I've had near my wall calendar.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Great post Shirlee ~ Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Prim Blessings

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your background story why this verse had meaning to you.

Trace4J said...

Love it too.
So many things we have to be thankful for.
Content what a wonderful word.
Found in HIM.
Woolie Blessings