January 6, 2020
I Have Learned
For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11
Today’s focus verse is an amazing statement. The Apostle Paul was speaking of having learned contentment, and no doubt he went through some difficult experiences to learn that lesson. For most of us, however, when it comes to the lessons the Lord teaches us, it would probably be more appropriate to say, “I am learning…”
This past week, a lesson that I learned illustrated to me how persistent God can be when teaching us. Our church has a roof that is accessed through a door with a keyed lock, but for a period of time no one knew where the key was. Consequently, whenever a person worked up there, it was necessary to block the door open. The first time I did maintenance work on the roof, I had several items to carry and decided to make a couple of trips to set my tools up. You can probably guess what happened—the door shut behind me and I was on the roof for three hours before I could summon someone to help me.
Later, I was on the roof and it happened again. When I hollered that time, the passerby thought I was just having fun and walked away—leaving me there to figure out how to get down.
Finally, a year ago we changed the lock and were able to distribute keys to everyone who used the roof regularly. Someone suggested that we should also hide a key on the roof, but another person said, “Now that we all have keys, we don’t need to hide one on the roof.” Wrong!
Today I changed into my work clothes to do some repair on the roof, and I left my keys in the pocket of the trousers I had on earlier. Yes, you guessed it—I was locked out again. After sitting on the roof for a period of time, I finally attracted the attention of a gentleman passing by, and he helped me.
Now there is a key hidden on the roof!
In my spiritual life, God has been faithful even though sometimes I have been slow to learn. The method of learning may be unpleasant at times, as were my hours spent perched on our church roof, but His lessons are invaluable.
A man once went to another brother and said, “God doesn’t love me.” The other brother asked, “Why?” and the first replied, “Because the Bible says ‘Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth,’ and I have not been chastened.” A few days later the brother came back and said, “The Lord loves me.” The Lord does love us, and He is willing to patiently teach us, that one day we might also be able to say, “I have learned.”