I'll be the first to admit I like comfort. I like a soft bed, nice surroundings in my home and things like clean water. In the winter, I don't like to be cold and in the summer, yes, I like air conditioning. My definition of the good life is when things are going my way. But as a Christian, is that what God promises? No. He promises many things, but a simple, comfortable life is not one of them.
Paul, who murdered Christians before he became one, spent his life telling others of Jesus. There were times of prosperity and there were times of persecution and much suffering. He lived the last years of his life in jail, awaiting his trial. But listen to what he says.
Philippians 4:11 NASB
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Paul had learned the secret of growing where he was planted. (Read that: where God planted him.)
So what does that look like? Well, here's what I want it to look like.
I want to have a constant source of clean, cool water. I want to hear the wonderful noise of crickets, frogs and birds.
I want to feel the warm rays of the sun as it rises over the mountains.
But let's be honest. Sometimes this is what life feels like. Like we're drowning.
We may be surrounded by problems: emotional, physical, financial, spiritual.
And we may not see a way out and so we feel hopeless.
We have to listen to their noise and feel the heat they put off. As if being sun-baked isn't enough.
But yet, there that tree is. And doing fairly well. Nice green leaves. Sturdy trunk. Protected from strong winds.
And what about the crazy tree in this photo? Yes, that is a tree, hundreds of feet up in the air atop and abandoned smoke stack.
Why did it grow there? Because that's where it was planted.
Maybe you're in a season of plenty. Maybe not.
Instead of asking God to remove the difficult circumstances you find yourself in, ask God to help you grow well where He planted you. Ask Him for the nourishment you need in your specific challenges.
He is where your contentment and strength comes from.
Ask Him to help you live close to Him, especially in the difficult times, to be content in Him. Ask Him to help you grow where He planted you.