I love writing week! This year it’s a little hard to pin it down to a week, but I’m sure trying! I know there’s no one who gets as excited as I do about a new study. I’m fully immersed in the current one and fully immersed in the upcoming one and they are intersecting in all kinds of wiry ways in my brain. I love to sharpen the Sword. Here’s a little snippet from yesterday’s work. I hope it’s a small blessing that can be a precursor to a bigger one as we travel toward a new study. As my good friend, Jen, often tells the kids in Bible bowl “If you learn one new thing from the Word, the whole project is worth it!”
It’s important for us to note that “ not wanting” in Psalm 23 is not just about having all of our needs met as in “I do not want for anything.” It’s also about finding contentment even in adverse circumstances. We find this contentment because we trust the One who is protecting us. We realize his ability and resourcefulness. A big part of that is remembering that, though my shepherd has many sheep, he interacts with me as though I am the only one. Only the divine shepherd has the ability to do that, thus providing peace even in dark times. Read the book of Philippians and make a list of all the “silver linings” that Paul found even in his Roman imprisonment. Let’s call this Contentment Correspondence. Imagine how this made the Philippian Christians feel to know that Paul started that church from a Philippian prison and now was admonishing from a Roman prison; and, all the while, he was so very contented. I’ll start you off with the first section of Philippians 1 and you complete the list for the four chapters. Paul was essentially saying “I shall not want.” He does not say “I do not want.” He says “I shall not want”! Contentment is a choice. (Let’s do this one from the NKJV.)
vs. 3—I thank God for you.
vs. 3—I am joyful.
vs. 6—I am confident in your work through Him.
vs. 7— You are in my heart.
vs. 7—We are partakers of grace together.
vs. 12—Bad things have turned out to further the gospel.
vs. 13—The whole guard and the rest are seeing Christ.
vs. 14—Brethren are getting bolder to speak the gospel.
vs. 18—Christ is being preached, so I rejoice.
Wow! as I was about to post this, I just realized that I could say these very words (this very list) to any number of sisters right now. So Kathy and Gen, and Vicky and Mol and Rebecca and Tonja and Marjorie and Han and Hannah and Lisa and Penny Lane and Rachel and Bekah and Melissa and a whole bunch more of you who are constant encouragers, this post is for you, with much love! Virtual hugs and vigilant prayers always!