“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” Philippians 4:11
This morning as I was reading a devotional on contentment by Richard Sibbes my thoughts immediately turned to my grandparents. My grandfather was born in 1890 and lived to be 95 dying peacefully in his sleep at home. My grandparents saw more changes in our world than any generation before or since having come into a world that used horse and buggies and going out of it after man had walked on the moon. They lived through two World Wars and the Great Depression. Between the two of them, they experienced abuse, desertion, divorce, despair, death of loved ones and financial ruin just to name a few of the hardships they endured in their combined nearly two centuries. But the most important thing of all was that they both experienced the love of Christ and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through a true and saving faith in Him. These were the people who first brought me the Gospel.
My fondest memories of my grandpa were greeting him with a kiss on the cheek at the door of their little pink house on 54th Street in Sacramento. Even into his 90’s he had soft rosy skin that was barely wrinkled and in the last years of his life he loved to quote Philippians 4:11 as I was leaving. After grandpa went to Jesus my grandmother lived on to be 99 years old and here are some of the sweet words she wrote to me.
Tuesday June 23, 1987
“Dear Diane, Robert, & Children,I was so happy to hear from you and especially to get the picture. It is so good of all of you. It came in time for my birthday, the 89th. The Lord has been so good to me even though I do get lonely at times but I am learning to be content in whatsoever state I am.…Just trusting you are getting stronger each day and I’m sure they are happy to have Robert as their Pastor.My prayers are with all of you,Love, Grandma ”
I thank God for the legacy of contentment He has blessed me with through my grandparents. The example they set for me has been pressed hard into my mind and heart. I am still learning the secret of contentment with each new trial and what a day that will be when we no longer see through the mirror dimly but will see Christ face to face!
“These words express the glorious power of the Spirit in a mature Christian, and serve as our pattern. ‘I have learned’, said Paul. This is very significant. It is not the learning of education, but of holiness. All the degrees in this world cannot teach it. Paul did not learn it at Gamaliel’s feet, but from Christ, and through much affliction. Nature never teaches it. It is learned with many stripes in the school of Christ. ….This is the excellency of a Christian; he has learned to abound and lack without being trapped by their snares.” ~ Richard Sibbes
Richard Sibbes, Voices From The Past pg 323