We checked this book out from the library this week. Have you ever read it? I knew I had heard the story as a child, but I didn’t remember what it was about. I certainly didn’t expect it to preach to me, but that is exactly what happened. Just to sum up, the town mouse decides country life would be better and the country mouse decides town life would be better and so they switch places. However, once in their new surroundings, they both encounter trials and obstacles that they never imagined and end up hightailing it back to their cozy home sweet homes that had seemed so confining only a short time before. As I read that to Abigail and Catherine, I couldn’t help but parallel it to my own life. As I write this, we are anticipating a little jaunt to a church in Northern Kentucky tomorrow, where Clay has an interview for the youth pastor position. We’re here in Lafayette while he works at Terminix, waiting for God to open up a full-time vocational ministry door for him again. Circumstances are not what we would have chosen, with him working six days a week, leaving at 6:30 am and not getting home until after 7:00 most evenings, and still barely scraping by financially. It’s easy, then, for me to fall into the trap of thinking that any church position would be better than this, that all we need is a change of circumstances for life to be better. If we could just trade places with the church mouse, then all would be well. History seems to repeat itself. We were in this exact same position in the fall of 2005 and winter of 2006, and we found out the hard way that a change in circumstances definitely does not guarantee that life will be better. The truth is, all can be well right now. I don’t have to wait on my circumstances to change to have joy. True joy is in contentment in any circumstance. True joy is rooted in Jesus Christ and His blood over me, and then flows out into the faces of my children, the sweet smell of their hair right after a bath, the hugs of a husband who loves me fiercely, the sacrifices he makes to provide for me to stay home with our girls, a family and support system who loves on us and encourages us almost daily. Circumstances can never rob me of my joy when the foundation of my joy is Christ. I am content, because while jobs come and go, ministry positions sometimes don’t work out, and sometimes the bills are late, the God Who holds me never changes. I can never be removed from His hand, and if He is holding me, then I am safe, no matter what my circumstances.
Phillipians 4:11-13: “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.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8: “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.”