Flexibility, according to many of those who live and work in a culture other than their own is an essential quality required if one is to not just survive but thrive. So, what does it mean to be flexible? To me it means that situations and circumstances may change without notice and require me to adapt to them. But more than this I think it means that people may change plans on me without reference to myself or others and without reason, or what we may feel is a legitimate reason, and it is contingent on me to make the best of it. But again, I feel it is more than this. It is the adaptation to varying circumstances or situations without complaint! No word of complaint, no gripe or grumble is to leave my lips or enter my thoughts if I am to accept change with grace and in so doing be flexible in a God honouring way.
I believe this is what Paul refers to in his letter to the Philippians. In chapter four of his letter he writes: “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 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 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
I believe the contentment that Paul refers to here is the same contentment that we need to draw on when circumstances or situations change on us or things don’t go our way. It is a contentment that is to be found in Christ alone. When we are continually aware of his presence with us and we trust and know that his plan for us is good then we can rest in a place of contentment while all around us is in flux. This is something that I have yet to claim along with Paul, but which God continues to remind me of as he chooses his way to grow me into the person he made me to be.
We had a challenge in this today. We had packed up and cleaned our little ‘home’ in preparation to move back to where we were staying originally, only to find out that it wasn’t happening until tomorrow! I am sure God was watching how we responded! We may have done okay today but lets hope we continue to grow in this.