The scripture for today is Philippians 4:10-15.
10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. 15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone.
When we started studying Paul’s letter to the Philippians earlier this year, I had no idea how much more real it would become to many of us, including myself.
No, I wasn’t imprisoned on false allegations like Paul was - repeatedly. But due to the coronavirus, we were…shall I say, quarantined. Locked down. Under stay at home orders.
The worst that happened to me was eating alone for most of three months. During that time, I shared a meal with others only four times. Yet I was never hungry, like Paul.
It’s tempting to complain, but compared to Paul I don’t have much to complain about. On the contrary, I have learned from Paul and grown from our experience during this pandemic, with a renewed appreciation of these three things:
· Contentment – at the end of the day, I thanked God for all that I have and then trusted God for whatever happened the next day. “I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” (vs. 11)
· Companionship – even though I didn’t see my family for all that time, we kept in touch and knew the abundance of each other’s love. My church family at Living Lord was so kind, always asking about my wellbeing. The council and staff threw fabulous birthday parties for me. “It was kind of you to share my distress.” (vs. 14)
· Christ – When everything is in flux, Christ is our solid rock. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (vs. 13)
May we always treasure these three things!
Loving God, give us the spirit of Paul to overcome challenges with joy.
Pastor Lanny Westphal firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: Those who have suffered due to the pandemic.