September 2017

I just saw on the news that a 53 year old woman from Massachusetts won $758.7 million dollars in the Powerball. I watched her interview and she said she was scared, but would be OK. She has already quit her job too. Her reaction was not surprising. She did seem genuinely frightened about the prospect of how her life would change. She said she wanted to just be alone and relax and rest. And think. I can’t imagine that if I won that kind of money I’d be able to STOP thinking.
Haven’t we all played in that dreamland? “If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to…” But I won’t ever win because I don’t ever play. Yet I have entertained that thought on more than one occasion. There are always the materialistic indulgences that come to mind like appliances, new floors, etc. And then of course the charity work that could be done. Where to even begin in helping others! And I admit that my dreams do most often include a rescue farm for dogs where I spend my days in glory. Although different, I’m sure you have a list too tucked in the corner of your mind.

But after I watched the segment, I said a prayer for her. The winner’s life will never be the same after today. She is no longer anonymous or interdependent with her community. She has now become a wealthy, sought after target with a whole new unfamiliar set of problems. So my prayer was sincere that she comes out of this in a good way, blessed by this happy(?) accident.

Because really, isn’t the purpose of life to be content in need and in plenty? We often think it would be great to win the lottery, but it is no different than being in need. There are plenty of opportunities to worry and feel uncertain.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13, “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.”

Therein lays the key, the source of our contentment.

Paul continued that thought in his first letter to Timothy 6:6-8 when he said, “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.”

All that we have or don’t have in this world is due not to what we have brought into it and there is nothing that when we die, we will take with us. Yet each day we eat, have clothes, shelter, relationships. So maybe we haven’t won the Powerball, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m content with what the Lord has blessed me with. He is the source of my contentment!

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