Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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 4:11-13
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33
These Bible verses were always hard for me to fully understand. I never understood the concept of being able to be content with where you are, especially when things are not as good as they ought to be. How can someone be content with where they are if:
Finances are exceptionally tight.
A child is wayward.
A spouse is wayward.
A marriage is hurting.
An illness strikes.
They've been falsely accused.
A storm damages.
A fire destroys.
I couldn't understand how I, or anyone for that matter, could be content with where they are in life, and that contentment amounting to nothing more than settling for the crappy situation they're in.
This morning, May, Joe and Leslie Lemke came to mind. They are pictured above. It dawned on me that May is an excellent example of being content with where she was in life, yet not settling for the circumstance she found her small family in, particularly Leslie.
Joe and May Lemke were modest folks who adopted Leslie as an infant. Leslie was completely blind and a savant (formerly rather cruelly called idiot savant). He was pretty much incapable of doing anything for himself and some would say he was pretty much a vegetable. May and Joe poured their every effort into caring for the boy and May never ever gave up hope for a miracle for Leslie. Her miracle did come. You can read about it in May's Boy. Or you can watch a special on the family HERE:
May Lemke was content with her life with Leslie as it stood every moment of the day. She was perfectly content caring for him, working with him, and praying for him. BUT, she would not settle for it. She prayed and prayed for Leslie, for God to perform a miracle in his life. To use Leslie in an amazing way. It took almost 2 decades, but God answered May's prayers. She was content with Leslie as he was, but she refused to settle that that was all there was for him. You can do both.