Words from a Soldier

A Confederate soldier scribbled the following words during the Civil War:

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

   I asked God for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. 

   I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise.

   I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

   I got nothing that I asked for but everything that I hoped for. Despite myself, my prayers were answered. I am, among men, most richly blessed.”

We want and expect so much out of life. We think strength means we can do more. But sometimes it’s in our weakest moments that we learn the most. We think health means we can accomplish more, but oftentimes, it’s in our sickness that we learn to draw closer to God. We think money can buy happiness, but it’s in the times that we struggle that we learn to rely on God. We think the more the better, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make you enjoy life the most.

Look around you. Do you have a family, friends, and a job? Do you have a home, money to buy groceries, and clothes to wear everyday? You may not have everything you want, but you have everything you need. We sometimes think that we are the source for all our prosperity. But God has a way of showing us who’s in control.

Paul learned this very lesson when he wrote, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11). We can want all we want, but God will give us exactly what we need.

Are you content with the Lord’s way? Or are you constantly trying to do things your way? I trust His way is better than mine. And when we realize that, we understand that “I am, among men, most richly blessed.”