Grace and contentment are two things on my mind lately. The former is something ongoing, something which I experience at a deeper level the more I realize, as it’s name suggests, I don’t deserve it. The latter is something I am learning from the contents of the pockets of my jeans.
Depending on the day, the contents of my pockets will vary. From the universal contents such as pennies and dimes and lint, not Lent (that would be an odd as well as an abstract thing to carry around), to more personality-specific items such as a guitar pick or a ratchet end wrench. Every now and again, perhaps, a small paperback in my back pocket. Not to be found, a silver money clip with a rock star supply of cash or a can of FOP (because if I was a pomade user, I would use Dapper Dan).
At any rate, monetarily speaking, my pockets are on the lean side of life and to make matters worse, even if I wanted to use Dapper Dan, I probably couldn’t afford it when adjusted to current prices. Therefore, lately, I have been in a less-than-content state of mind. The obvious and thankful fact that I have pants at all is lost to me when I wander from the immutable truth that God doesn’t forsake His elect. That doesn’t mean He won’t let His children go without things like aromatic hair tonics or rock star money clips. I really should just be glad I am not only a creature but a child of the God who fashioned all things.
I suppose, too, the oddities I do have in my pockets also should, in a strange way at the end of a long day at work makes sense to me, be reasons to give thanks. Guitar picks enable the picker to cut the finger nails on the picking hand so he or she doesn’t have to have crazy long nails to pick the strings. Pennies and dimes mean at one time there was a dollar bill used to buy groceries and they are simply the remainders. Lint, not Lent, means, um, my awesome wife washed my jeans.
Bringing all back home, I like what Paul the apostle formerly known as Saul said in his letter to the Christians in Pilippi,
I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13, ESV).
Not to be mistaken as meaning he could literally fly like an eagle if he wanted or misapplied as a graceless, Christless prosperity gospel mantra, Paul simply stated he could deal both with having and not having. Simple as that. He could deal with it because of the gospel. He could deal with it because his greatest need was met on the Damascus road, where Christ was the intersection.