“Darkness was and darkness was good. As with light. Light and Darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being, in joyful rhythm.”
– Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet
As the darkness and light joyfully dance today, I found myself humming a favorite hymn.
When upon life’s billows You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings Name them one by one
And it will surprise you What the Lord has done
In the midst of this stormy season, I am reminded of the many blessings in my life … family, friends, vocation … not to mention abundance compared to so many.
As a friend mentioned today the lesson she is learning about contentment I was reminded of Paul’s testimony …
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 well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ~Philippians 4:12
Contentment isn’t about “stuff” and it’s not about the absence of storms … it’s being in a right relationship with oneself, the world, and God. It’s recognizing and enjoying the dance between the dark places of life and the light of our blessings.
Happy the man that, when his day is done,
Lies down to sleep with nothing of regret–
The battle he has fought may not be won–
The fame he sought be just as fleeting yet;
Folding at last his hands upon his breast,
Happy is he, if hoary and forespent,
He sinks into the last, eternal rest,
Breathing these only works: “I am content.”
But happier he, that, while his blood is warm,
See hopes and friendships dead about him lie–
Bares his brave breast to envy’s bitter storm,
Nor shuns the poison barbs of calumny;
And ‘mid it all, stands sturdy and elate,
Girt only in the armor God hath meant
For him who ‘neath the buffetings of fate
Can say to God and man: “I am content.”
A Puritan preacher, Jeremiah Burroughs, is quoted as saying, ” Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”
May dark and light dance freely in the quiet stillness before the Lord … and there may I learn contentment.