Twenty-five years ago I came across a gem of wisdom that was to save my sanity. The thing that amazes me now is how easily I could have missed it. I was feeling happy and fulfilled at the time, satisfied with my life and where it seemed to be taking me. I could have brushed it aside as not applying to me, but I was soon glad I hadn’t. Things took an unexpected downward turn, I lost my job and the security it had provided, and those words became a reference point that helped me get through the next few difficult months.
“If we would find our security in the knowledge that God loves us and has a plan for our lives, instead of relying on other things to meet that need, He could make us very happy. But we sometimes make ourselves unhappy by being dissatisfied, because we haven’t learned, as the apostle Paul did, to be content in whatever state we’re in.”1
That doesn’t mean we should stop striving to be better people. We also shouldn’t adopt a fatalist attitude when our circumstances aren’t what they could or should be.
But getting back to my experience of 25 years ago, that little bit of advice helped me realize that while my circumstances had suddenly changed, that didn’t change the things that counted most in life. It didn’t change who I was or my main goals, nor did it change God’s love for me. Therefore it shouldn’t rob me of the contentment I’d had before things fell apart. The happy ending? By focusing on what I still had and not what I had lost, I made it through that difficult time and came out happier in the end.
Whatever you happen to be going through at the moment, I hope this issue of Activated will help you find that place of perfect peace of heart and mind.