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Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
(Phil. 4:11)
In the first few years of our ministry, we traveled in a van all across America. When we ministered, we had to stay in the homes of church people or the pastor, as they usually did not put us in a hotel.

Although many times the people were wonderful, there were other times when we were not wanted and felt they just endured us for the day or two we were with them.

One time we drove up to a pastor's home, where we were to stay while ministering to his church. When his wife opened the door she said, "Oh, it's you. I didn't think you were coming."

Happy told her our meeting had been confirmed for some time and that we had driven all day in order to make it. (We would have gladly stayed in a motel, but there were none in that little town.)

She half-heartedly invited us in but let us know very quickly that she was not well and was not up to doing anything. That was easy to see. Every dish was dirty and stacked on the kitchen counter. There was no food in the refrigerator, and the house looked like a tornado had just blown through.

Before her husband came home, I washed all the dishes and started cleaning her house. When her husband arrived he fixed dinner, and I washed the dishes again.

I hurriedly dressed for church that night, ministered, and then came home exhausted. I went to bed, and we left early the next morning for our next meeting.

I told Happy, "When we get to Michigan, I am not staying with another person. I want to stay in a motel."
- Jeanne Caldwell
Something similar happened when we were on a three-week tour through Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. The couple with whom we stayed in Kentucky was not on speaking terms. The wife complained to me all day and half the night for three days.

I did not get much rest at all. I also cleaned and cooked there. When we left, I was physically, mentally, and spiritually drained.

I told Happy, "When we get to Michigan, I am not staying with another person. I want to stay in a motel." He said, "There is not much we can do about it if they have already made arrangements for us to stay with someone." But my mind was made up. I had had it.

When we arrived at our destination, you might know they had us staying with a "wonderful family." I thought, "Yeah, sure." On the way to the house, I told Happy that although I might have to go, I was not going to be nice.

When we arrived, the Wantys met us with big, warm smiles. I got out of the van, asked where we would be staying, and went straight to our room and shut the door.

I laid down across the bed to rest awhile and opened my Bible to read. I turned to the Book of Philippians and began reading. All at once, I came to Philippians 4:11. When I read that verse, it was as if it jumped right off the page and into my heart.

I was so convicted by the Holy Spirit for my childish un-Christlike behavior. Immediately I got on my knees beside the bed and asked the Lord to forgive me for not being content in whatsoever state I was in. After praying I got up, washed my face, and went into the den to visit with the family.

I want you to know that this family was absolutely beautiful in every way. Mrs. Wanty did not let me lift a finger. She had all the meals prepared beforehand and would not allow me to set the table or wash a dish.

She said, "You came to minister to us and we want to minister to you." Isn't that just like God to bless us when we really need it?

I had determined to let the love of God flow through me no matter what the situation, but the Wantys were easy to love. God's love flowed through them to us.

The Scripture says, "For I have learned" (or experienced). All of us have had experiences, but did we learn from them?

The key to a life that is free from agitation and strife is learning to be content, no matter what your circumstances are. Webster's Dictionary defines contentment as "uncomplaining acceptance of one's position."

Let the peace of God rule in your heart (Col 3:15). Get rid of self-pity and depression and choose to be happy. Endeavor to create an environment of peace.

Set aside a time and place to be calm—a place where there are no distractions or interruptions. Read the Bible and let the Word of God minister peace to you. Make up your mind to be content in every situation!

Source: Learning to Trust God's Faithfulness by Jeanne Caldwell
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jeanne Caldwell
Web site: Agape Church
Pastor Emeritus, founders and pastors of Agape Church from its founding in 1979 to 2014. Happy and Jeanne Caldwell. In 1979 God spoke to Happy & Jeanne Caldwell to build a spiritual production center in Little Rock, in order to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the city, state, nation and world. Together, they founded Agape Church, a strong spirit-filled body of believers. Through a deep sensitivity to the Spirit of God, and anointed teaching - the lost are saved, the sick healed, and thousands have been blessed. In 1988 Happy and Jeanne answered a direct call from the Lord to take His message beyond Central Arkansas. They founded VTN - the Victory Television Network. This network of 3 full power TV stations is carried on over 200 cable systems and is bringing the Gospel into more than 1.2 million households. Jeanne's ministry transcends nationality, race, culture, and generation as her passion to see women transformed into ladies who are pruned, polished, and perfected by the Word of God and her down-to-earth presentation assist others to have a personal encounter with God's Word.

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