A Fragment of Gratitude

Photo by Noah Hamilton
Photo by Noah Hamilton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was day one of two rostered days where I take care of the Home schooling. For term four we’ve been moving through Bethany Hamilton’s ‘Soul Surfer devotional’ (Kindle Edition). The reading this morning highlighted Paul’s famous ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil.4:13). As we read past this verse, we were reminded that even though Paul was bound in chains, he was still able to utter the words ‘I am well supplied’.

As much as they are an insight into Paul’s overall theological understanding of contentment, these four words are also a valuable lesson in gratitude. The man was aware of the gifts which surrounded him. An awareness, that for us time poor Westerners has a high probability of getting lost in the “noise” and concerns of the day.

This raised the question: “Am I well supplied”?

For home school, we have pencils, pens, paper, chairs, a table, a laptop, the internet with reasonable speed, and lots of access to resources. This is a lot more than my parents had, with their limited education, finances and almost non-existent support from family.

“I am well supplied”.

Our 7 year old car still runs well. The persistence and ability to have it serviced every year is paying off.  The in-car CD player worked. The CD playing was a compilation full of the Gospel and testimony freely shared, and just as freely purchased.

“I am well supplied”

This morning I picked up a bag of day old croissants,spinach danishes, and sour dough bread, mixed in with herb infused bread rolls for four dollars. Then when I got home I tasted the results of my youngest daughter’s best attempt to make us all a kiwi fruit smoothie for breakfast, and as I write this there is a steaming hot coffee sitting next to me.

“I am well supplied”

Today the weather here is cooler. It is a significant change to the heat which greeted us earlier this spring. Yesterday’s storm brought on this change. The first for summer. The lingering chill in the cooler breeze is more than welcome. There is a sense that you are being grasped by it as the sounds it affects moves through the trees. This whisper interrupts moments of silence with relaxed ease, gently greeting you as its cool, crisp solitude contrasts with the heat of the previous day.

PaulofTarsus writing
Source: Wikipedia Paul of Tarsus – 16th Century depiction.

It’s 10:27am. The clouds have just shrouded the sun. More rain is on its way. I’m not sure how full the water tank is, but the brownish-yellow green tint of the grass seems to be telling us we need it.

There have been times of need and impatience today, but there are no complaints. Just gratitude and the recognition of its significance discovered in these four words spoken so long ago:

‘I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragment offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen’.
– Paul of Tarsus (Phil.4:18-19, ESV)

2 thoughts on “A Fragment of Gratitude


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