Philippians 4:13 is probably one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. No doubt this verse has given believers the strength to overcome a variety of life issues from the loss of a loved one and addiction to obesity and break-ups. I, personally, have heard this verse hundreds of times but never really took the time to think about it and grasp its true meaning. Have you ever wondered what the context of this verse is? This morning I took the time to find out.
No matter where you are in the world, a Saturday morning spent enjoying a vanilla latte and a fresh-baked muffin with a Bible in your hand is a GOOD morning! As I sat in a quaint little cafe in the beautiful city of Sydney, I reflected on Philippians 4:11-13. I thought I would share what I learned in hopes that it might impact your day like it did mine!
The verses read as follows: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether hungry or well fed, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”
After reading this verse a few times, I began to think about my time here in Australia so far. I’ve done some pretty incredible things and seen some pretty incredible views. Needless to say, right now I have plenty. WAY more than I deserve! Yet, at times I’ve found myself still wanting more! Everyday I’m surrounded by thousands of busy businessmen and women trying to get to work on time in a big city. I’ve felt lost. I’ve felt at home. I’ve felt happy and sad. Living in a big city like Sydney has left me wanting more because at times I’ve felt like I’m just in any other big city, going to work, coming home and having dinner, passing out at 9pm and getting up and doing it all over again. Where are all the kangaroos hopping around? The beautiful shorelines and tropical temperatures? I want more! I want more!
This morning I came to the realization that I’m 21 years old and I’m in Australia pursuing my dreams! Most people don’t get this opportunity in their whole lifetime. What am I doing telling myself I need more? God has given me SO many blessings. He has given me WAY beyond what I could ever deserve. Not just because I’m in Australia but because I have a personal relationship with a God that’s loving and faithful.
These verses also taught me that no matter what’s going on in my life, I know that all my strength comes from Jesus. I’m certainly not strong enough to endure this life without him. I’m just a weak, clueless little girl but with God by my side I’m a strong, independent and confident young woman! So strong I can jump really high!
So far this trip has involved countless smiles and “wow” moments. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to have an $11 glass of wine 47 stories above Sydney at a revolving restaurant! It took an hour and 45 minutes to make a complete circle and we stayed almost the whole time! As I looked out at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House under the full moon, I was overwhelmed with joy. It was probably one of the most AMAZING things I’ve ever experienced in my life. This morning I realized that I should be rejoicing in the Lord every time those moments happen. He’s the one that gave me the strength to get to where I am today. He’s the one that brought me to Sydney. He’s the one that blesses me each and every day.
Luckily, I haven’t been terribly homesick yet. But I know that by the end of the 10 weeks I’ll be crying for my momma and my boyfriend and little old Toledo, Ohio. I am too weak to handle this experience on my own. However, I know that when homesickness kicks in my God will give me the strength to be content with my situation. To enjoy each moment, whether tears are falling down my face or I’m smiling so hard my cheeks quiver.
This morning I learned that God not only gives me the strength to face each day but that I should always feel content no matter the circumstances. Things won’t always go MY way. There will be times when I feel in need even when I have plenty. There will be times when I am literally hungry and get irritated because a hamburger here in Sydney costs $15 dollars. There will be times when I feel alone but God is always by my side encouraging me, blessing me and giving me strength!
His love even showed through my latte this morning 🙂