TRAVEL JOURNAL, Week 3

The Road to Contentment…

It feels like a roller coaster!

Contentment can feel like a roller coaster, up and down, up and down, upside down and all around until your equilibrium is so thrown off that you feel like you are going to be sick!

What is the biggest, scariest roller coaster you have ever been on?

I’m talking about the ones that really mess you up!  Not the ones that send chills up your arms or put a thrill in your belly. I mean the ones that rip you apart inside as they soar high, crash low and spin from side to side and upside down!

That’s right, got the picture?  Stepping off that ride, rushing to the nearest bush and grabbing your stomach as you double over and let it fly!

It’s that feeling that you are no longer in control and your body has taken over. You are in pain, cramping up and heaving at your bodies whim!

I believe that many of us are experiencing this same feeling of sickness and loss of control during this current season of the Corona Pandemic and Racial Tension. 

We feel like things are simply ‘Out of Control!’ That our world has been shaken up so hard, turned upside down, side to side and up and down, that we feel sick and nauceous! We would almost feel relief if we could throw up!

WE NEED DIRECTION!

This week in our Travel Journals we need to record Godly Direction by which we can find contentment in the middle of the storm.

I have shared openly and honestly with you that Hope and Encouragement are my jam!They are my natural go to!  CONTENTMENT to me is the “C” Word!

This comes to me quite naturally. I was raised by a very strong Dad who had a very strong work ethic and passed that down to my sisters and I. One of my responsibilities growing up was to feed the horses in the evening. I was raised in the city, but was blessed to live on an acre and 1/4 of property zoned for all kinds of animals, including horses. One night when my dad returned home for work we all sat down at the table to eat dinner. My dad looked at me and asked if I had fed the horses. My eyes got huge as I replied that I had not yet fed them. I jumped up out of my chair to run and feed them when my dad called me back and told me to sit down. He said that he heard them neighing as he pulled in the driveway and he fed them. He then told me that I would not eat dinner with the family that night so that I could understand how they felt when they did not get fed. He reminded me that unlike myself, they could not go get their own food when they were hungry!

Now, before you report my Dad for child abuse, I need to let you know that I did not starve, I had eaten plenty that day, and I did learn a very valuable lesson! I learned that when I did not put the work in it was not only I that suffered! I guarantee you, I never forgot to feed the horses again!

Is it any surprise that my favorite verse in the Bible is Philippians 4:13?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I was raised with that ‘All American Value’ to “pull yourself up by your own boot straps” and get it done!

Problem is, life does not always work out that way!

WE can find ourselves in a world that is not practicing the “Love One Another” commandment from the Bible. We can find ourselves in a job loss that was not our fault! We can find ourselves in a relationship that does not seem to heal no matter how hard we try!

Truth is, we can be practicing Philippians 4:13 to the greatest of our ability and our world can remain a Roller Coaster Ride!

That is why God always includes the verses before and after one another to accomplish the entire meaning.

A great Hero of the Faith, The Apostle Paul, just two verses before writes, “I can do all things…”, writes the direction we must follow to achieve true contentment in Christ!

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty,  with plenty or little.”  

Philippians 4:11-12

The problem was MY HEART, MY MINDSET and MY DIRECTION!

I was reading Philippians 4:13 with that “Can Do” spirit. In actuality it was the entire reason for CONTENTMENT!

If Paul can say it from a prison cell, I can say it from right here…

Regardless of my circumstances, regardless of my full or empty stomach, regardless of my financial situation, regardless of my employment status, regardless of my positive or negative relationships, and regardless of the state of the world around me,

I can do all things (and be content), through Christ who gives me strength!

TRUTH BOMB

C83FD47F-D86E-4534-B854-984A826BE1BD

God is our direction no matter what we or the world around us is going through!

Let’s log that in our travel journals!

God is our direction no matter what we or the world around us is going through! We can learn to be content in any and all circumstances when we trust in the strength of Christ in us!

Speak Truth Love

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