I was cleaning out my desk, when I came across a blurry photo taken on a Hawaiian beach.
My husband and I had been on a vacation we couldn’t afford. But my grandparents paid the way. They lived in Hawaii, and we’d never been there. We stayed with them, and they toured us to all the sites.
But one afternoon, they let us borrow their car. We found a secluded beach, frolicked in the ocean, and laughed like we hadn’t in a long while. Tom propped our camera on a beach towel, set the timer, so we could take a blurry picture of ourselves.
We were young, with lots of answers to fill in on life’s test questions. We had so many struggles waiting for us back home. Everything was tough, except for our love for one another. But for that one afternoon, we could pretend all was well.
I put all the photos from our trip in a special album, except that one beach picture. I hoped we could have that again.
Every so often, I’d pull out that picture and see our young faces, full of joy and expectation. Then I’d think about my life and feel discontent rise up.
Things that I expected to happen, weren’t happening, and I was letting that steal my joy. Those expectations were thieves, robbing me of the joy I could be having.
Eventually I learned that joy didn’t depend on where I was, or how much I had. And that’s when contentment came to live with me.
Sure, you need to work hard and set goals, but don’t allow yourself to be robbed of joy as you live.
Those young kids on a Hawaiian beach didn’t know that yet, but God was a patient teacher.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Philippians 4:12