February 1995 was a time in my life I will remember forever. I was a senior in college and I had to travel to Milwaukee to preach. I and my girlfriend had been dating a month, although she would say, “I wasn’t going with you then. You were going with me before I was going with you.” She wanted to see her parents that same weekend; so instead of flying with the other students, I decided to drive so that I could make a detour and take her home to see her family. It was going to be a nine-hour drive and I was excited.
‘Nine hours alone with her? Wow; I’m going to enjoy myself,’ I thought. Then the disappointment came, I was an apprentice optician and that’s how I supported myself through college, but that weekend my check was short and it wouldn’t be fixed for two weeks. As I walked through the halls of the dormitory a brother from Nassau, Bahamas noticed I was a little down and asked,” J. U., what’s the problem?”
I told him. Not expecting anything, I thought he was like the rest of us, ‘a broke college student’, but he invited me into his room, opened his dresser drawer and pulled out a large wad of cash with a rubber band around it. He didn’t count it. He didn’t keep some for himself. He didn’t even say, “You better make sure you pay me back.” He placed the money in my hand and said, “Take that beautiful young lady home to see her family.” By the way, she, now my wife, has been going everywhere with me for twenty years.
This man, Kevin, was a mystery to me. He blessed me with all that he had, almost four hundred dollars and he wouldn’t let me repay him. Who does that? Who cares that much? One day I had the opportunity to talk with Kevin and asked, “Why would a broke college student give someone his last?”
Kevin’s response, “J. U., maun, if I have or if I don’t have, God is still good to me.” —Contentment
In our devotional passage, Paul demonstrated spiritual equilibrium and he was equally unfazed by poverty or riches. Paul knew things did not matter; but relationships matter. Our relationship with God, and our relationships with each other. Contentment helps us to keep first things first: God and others.
Lord, it is our desire to please you and we know we can’t seek to please you and ourselves at the same time, guide us with your grace so that our actions are in sync with what we have learned in your Word, thank you, Amen.