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Daily Devotion

Learning to Be Content

By Jolene Philo


If you’ve been to the Philo house, you would know our dachshund Abby, a barky, nervous, skittish weiner dog. Abby doesn’t like men, except for Hiram my husband, whom she loves more than any other person in the world. Loving Hiram is the only trait the dog and I share, in case you’re wondering.

Abby came to us when she was a year-old and carried lots of baggage from her old life into her new one. We’ve had her for three years, and while her first year with us led to many obvious transformations in her behavior (my  favorite was when she became 100% housebroken), this last year we’ve noticed subtle attitude changes that show she’s content with us.

For a long time, when we walked toward her, she only came if we bribed her with a treat. Lately, she’s started rolling over and exposing her belly when we get near. It must be that doggy submission thing because I believe that she is saying that she trusts us completely.

She wants to be with us, whines when we leave; and she’s overjoyed when we return. However, there is one big bone of contention remaining in our relationship. Abby likes to escape and vainly hunt the rabbits, ground squirrels, and birds who consider our yard their critter theme park.

If she gets out of the house unleashed, no amount of calling or bribing coaxes her home. She waltzes in when she’s ready, which means she’s hungry or thirsty, tired, or scared of the dark. Once inside, she’s not the same dog she was before the escape.

The roll-over-and-show-your-belly submission thing is gone for awhile. She’s not content again until she spends time with us and the cocky, king-of-the-animal-world attitude dies.

I oftentimes watch Abby, and realize we have more than love for my husband, Hiram in common.

When I acknowledge God as my master, I am content. Submission to what He declares is best for me is natural and easy when I stay close to Him, meeting Him in His word and in prayer daily. When I escape His will, and hunt for what I think will satisfy rather than find satisfaction in Him, coming back seems difficult. I am hungry and thirsty, exhausted by my own efforts, and scared by the darkness surrounding me. I’m not content until I die to self and learn to trust Him again.

If you come to our house, and can’t tell the dog and me apart, Abby’s the short one licking Hiram’s ankles. I’m the taller one learning to be content.

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” I Timothy 6:6 (NAS)

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