Philip. 4:10-13 (ESV)
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  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.
I marvel at this. Paul’s ability to be content in any situation. That is an art! I suffer a covetous nature. I play off contentment, at the same time hiding an ambitious nature. Being content in whatever situation. I suppose there are ways I have learned to be content. I thoroughly enjoy my present situation for instance. It might be better if my son were here to enjoy it with me more. But I do love living in Tooele Utah, I was a bit apprehensive when I first found I would be moving here. But then moving around as much as I did as a kid I learned to enjoy anywhere I lived. I think more pastors and pastor’s wives could learn that. Though I do know some areas are harder than others. Small towns can be hard for children. If your family hasn’t been there for three or more generations than you aren’t from there, forget about the football team. But there are friends to be found everywhere especially in the church. And every place has its own charms. If you live at the beach learn how to surf, in the desert learn to hunt quail.
But I don’t know that was so much of what Paul was talking about. I don’t think he is speaking to location as much as he is to being poor and rich, the ups and downs of life, facing plenty and hunger. I think we in the west know there must be a secret to facing hunger. Most of us never have. Faced hunger that is. Hunger mystifies us. It isn’t a reality for us. But Paul indicates that there is also a secret to facing plenty. Perhaps we need to learn that secret. We face plenty. And the more we have the more we want. I don’t think I speak solely for myself here. We have to learn how to face plenty and be content with what we have. I believe that would be a happier life, than one tempted by every commercial that comes on T.V. Well maybe not every commercial. Not much I find tempting about Valtrex, or feminine hygiene products. Would that we could at least return to the days when medication was between you and the doctor, and advertisers had the decency to appropriately target their audience. I don’t see the sense in advertising tampons between episodes of 24. Perhaps Cosmo would be more appropriate for some of that? I digress.
Perhaps the secret is the Lord’s prayer and recognizing that our daily bread comes from God. He gives us what we need, and more normally. We can thank him for that. The thing we need most is forgiveness. Our covetous nature shows that. Thankfully he gives that abundantly in Christ.