“Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving; and the people of Israel also wept again, and said, ‘O that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” (Numbers 11:4-6)
Economists were not just blabbing when they reached a conclusion that “human wants are insatiable.” No matter how much we have, we always crave for more. We never appreciate what we have until we lose it.
The Israelites had just been freed from slavery but so long as they did not have all the meat and fish they craved, their freedom meant nothing to them. Their inability to count their blessings became a stumbling block to their happiness.
Not too long ago, I picked an interest in learning Espanol (Spanish language), which I later discovered is older than Ingles (English language). I was amazed to learn that one of the Spanish words for “happy” is “contenta.”
Regardless of how wealthy a person may be, so long as he or she lacks contentment, their wealth means nothing to them. The true definition of poverty is not how little one has but one’s degree of contentment. As long as you are content with what you have, as long as you can count your blessings, you are truly rich.
When the news of the gruesome death of John the Baptist came to Jesus, He withdrew to a quiet place alone. People noticed and decided to follow Him. Matthew says: “He had compassion on them and healed their sick…” How did Jesus manage to attend to the great crowd despite being in a state of mourning? The secret is contentment.
Jesus did not have everything going well for him but somehow, he focused on the things he was grateful for, that way, he was able to rise above the immediate pain in his heart. Being content is not something that happens by chance. It is a deliberate act.
Contentment is a decision; a decision to focus only on those things you are grateful for. It is ignoring your problems and praising God as though you had no problems. It is choosing to accept your life as it is knowing that God only permits what is best for you to happen to you.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to be grateful even when things are rough. Amen.
Bible Study: Numbers 11:4-15, Ps. 81 and Matthew 14:13-21).