Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Friday, October 10

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:11-12

Not long ago I was asked to officiate at a wedding. It took but a moment for me to say, “Yes, I'd be glad to.” I explained that over the next few months we would have to work together. I explained that we would not focus on logistics until the very end. 

The flowers, the band, the catering services, the dress makers and the hotel where we would hold the ceremony would all take care of themselves. We needed to spend our time centering on life. They would, after all, be saying the most life-changing words a human being can say. 

“Over the next 40 years or so,” I said, “chances are there will be times of plenty, and times of want. There will be times of sickness, and times of health.” The words, of course, came from the vows.  And words as ancient as vows have precedent.

Paul writes to the church in Philippi about both plenty and want, of being well-fed and going hungry. In both circumstances he looked beyond events and found contentment by relying on the presence of “him who strengthens me.” 

Paul wrote his letter not to an individual, but to a church. In our counseling sessions, I was talking not to two individuals, but to their promise as a couple. It is in the plural that we find the strength necessary for life. Paul was strengthened by the presence of Christ. We are strengthened by our church, our friends, our children, and our spouses. Hope is a plural endeavor. 

On the day of the wedding a storm forced the outside wedding to be held inside. The winds nearly lifted the tent to the sky. But for the couple, centered on the words they would speak, circumstances we could not change could not erode the joy of their day. 

So it is with the presence of Christ—that is the secret we have the opportunity to find and share.

Help us, gracious God, to trust in you when events conspire against us, knowing that together with you, and each other, we can truly do all things. Amen.