It was a lesson that emerged later in the week as our family conversation & prayer time centered on JOY as a fruit of the Spirit. Oddly enough, the event that pointed out the error was something that rarely brings me joy: a yard sale. How is it that clothing, household items & toys that once cost top dollar–and that are in excellent condition–look like .50 cent flea market trinkets when placed on a lawn? Sometime near the end of the sale, my youngest (6) was racing around the driveway on a Hot Wheels trike that he hadn’t touched in a year screaming “don’t sell my bike daddy!” He exclaimed this in response to a text I had just received from a friend who wanted to purchase it…and I was happy to find a new home for it! It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this happening…perhaps you’ve had the same experience with your children. You put things away in the attic for a few months; then when you take them out it’s like Christmas morning all over again!
Rediscovery is a great spiritual lesson. It’s tied to contentment. As sons and daughters of God, He has supplied us with so many blessings beyond the extravagant material things we all enjoy in our culture. It is easy to lose sight of the wealth of blessing the LORD has poured out on each person. This is why prayer time as family is so important. Whether we are expressing gratitude for Jesus or for the paper napkins and silverware on the table, we recognize the presence of the Father in our lives. We recognize that He is the source of our joy…not our circumstances or the next thing we may purchase.
The Apostle Paul certainly knew this. In Philippians 4, he writes: “Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice!” Then a few verses later: “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.”
The big family lesson this week: JOY is tied to contentment regardless of circumstances.
Merriam, you are usually pretty smart. But I’ve got 2 words for you this time: Philippians 4.