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Experience and the Light of Contentment

Through the Looking Glass

As a general rule, how we see and respond to things in life depends on our own experience.

DickensUpon the death of Charles Dickens, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley delivered a memorial eulogy, praising Dickens for showing by his own example that…

“…Even in dealing with the darkest scenes and the most degraded characters, genius could still be clean, and mirth could be innocent”.

Dickens, who had been through a great deal of adversity in his own life, managed to find the bright side of human nature in some of his most famous characters — people who made the best out of bad situations.

The Apostle Paul discussed this mindset in Philippians 4:11 when he said that “I have learned to be content… whatever the circumstances”. Paul understood that, while the circumstances of life may not ideal, contentment is a vertical choice… not a horizontal one.

Circumstances can be an “undeserved” condition, but contentment is always a choice — a choice to follow Jesus… regardless.

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The Fine Art of Carrying Cats

Through The Looking Glass2

I love this quote by Mark Twain…

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

Our personal experiences – good and bad – make us who we are. Experience can be a brutal teacher. What we go through in life, and how we deal with it, can either make us or break us. Being gracious when times are good, and not becoming bitter when times are bad are both equally important.

Regardless of which applies to you on any given day, none of it is getting past your Heavenly Father. The Bible says that He “works all things together for good for those who love Him”. That means that He knows what you are going through, and regardless of what it is, He is going to turn it around for your good.

That’s a promise I can live with. How about you?

Pastor Ron