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).
It's Thanksgiving week, and that verse always strikes me whenever I go to the Long Beach Senior Citizen's Center to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. Those who come on Thanksgiving Day are elderly, and many of them are either estranged or abandoned by their children. Some are homeless. Others are in various degrees of poverty.
Before it's time to serve the meal, they gather in the hallway–maybe 150 or so. There, they sit for a while as Christians go up and down the hall just talking to them and offering a kind word here or there. That's what puts the smile on their faces. Make no mistake, the meal does too. However, it's the conversation that means something when you are elderly and lonely. Food is a necessity. Conversation is just below that…but perhaps a deeper need.
I thank God before each meal because I am thankful and that's how I was raised. But, every now and then I do tend to take food for granted because it's always been there. I thank God for my family and the laughter-filled conversations we have. Also because of God's blessings, it's always been there. I don't suppose I need to feel guilty for it. However, for many, none of those are there. Food is scarce and conversation with someone who really cares whether they live or die is even more scarce.
Most of us have the three "Fs": food, family, friends. We should not only technically give thanks for those, but live thankfully. We shouldn't take them for granted. The basics are God's doing. This is a great week to reflect on the blessing of the basics. With them, let us be content. "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
Tonight, give thanks for the holy noise in your house.
Give thanks for your friends–even the ones you don't like that much.
Give thanks for the leftovers you burned in the microwave.
Give thanks for the clothes on your back.
And, be content, for God has blessed you richly.