November 21, 2020
Living on Top of Circumstances
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11
One of my all-time greatest Thanksgiving Day memories took place many years ago when I was a college student, living with my mother and young sister. The house was a mess, for we had just moved to a different home and had not had time to unpack. Rather than celebrate Thanksgiving in these unsettled conditions, we decided to pack a meal and go up into the mountains and eat picnic-style at a campground.
We fixed a nice dinner with roast turkey, stuffing, baked yams, Jello with fruit in it, and I cannot remember what else. Placing all of this in paper bags and a cardboard box, we loaded up my old jalopy and headed for the hills.
The day was cold and blustery, with intermittent rainsqualls. Unfortunately for us, my old car did not have a heater, so to be comfortable in it, one had to dress warmly. To make things worse, my car was in desperate need of a new radiator. Consequently, it boiled over several times on the way up. Finally, I did not feel it would be prudent to drive any higher, so we parked in the visitor’s parking lot at Mud Mountain Dam. As I recall, ours was the only car in the parking lot, and of course, there was no view at all out of our car windows, because the rain on the outside coupled with the steam on the inside had completely obscured them.
Despite all of this, we had a wonderful time. We all loved the Lord. We enjoyed each other’s company. And the food was great. Basically, the key to our enjoyment of that day was that we were determined not to let “circumstances” spoil our joy. As someone has said, we were determined not to live “under” the circumstances, but rather “on top” of them. Or as in the words of Paul, we were determined to be content in whatever state the Lord had allowed us to be.
Today, I drive a much nicer vehicle than the jalopy I spoke of, and I have had many wonderful Thanksgiving meals down through the years, served in warm, comfortable surroundings. Yet, I still look back fondly to that day at Mud Mountain Dam, when God came down and blessed us as we ate—we were content.
Let contentment be a hallmark of your life no matter the circumstances in which you find yourself.