Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

What Do You Have?

Joni Eareckson Tada

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
Philippians 4:11-12

“All I need, I already have.” Do you believe that statement? It is one I have wrestled with in recent days.

What do I have? Well, I don’t have use of my hands, legs, or the sense of touch to feel Ken’s embrace. But I do have a voice, a wheelchair, and a husband who loves me. And that, according to the Lord, is all I need. For if there was anything more I needed, He would have given it to me. Am I using what I have? God never gives us a task without supplying the need. His command never comes without empowerment. Am I prepared to lose what I have? This is the litmus test of contentment. Despite Job’s agony, he declared, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). He was prepared to believe, even to the point of death.

To be honest, when I think of the future, I sometimes get scared. I know my good health won’t last forever. But my calling is not only to abandon my future wants, but to trust in God and hand over what I already possess. Am I ready to receive what I do not have? Well, my friend, it’s not as though I’m looking to “enlarge my borders” like Jabez, and expand my spiritual territory. I’d just be happy if God would simply make my heart larger, to receive more of His peace and joy.

All you need, you already have. What do you have? How long has it been since you did a thoughtful inventory of your possessions? The secret of contentment is wrapped up in simple gratitude for what God has already provided you.

Father, I’m so often like the ungrateful Israelites, who even complained about the sweet, nourishing, “bread of angels” that appeared at their feet each morning. Forgive me for looking down on Your “manna” in my life, and hankering after more exotic fare.

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