Strength for Today

1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

Someone else has expressed it this way: "Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good." The secret of contentment is the realisation that life is a gift, not a right.

At the age of fourteen, Andrea Jaeger won her first professional tennis tournament. At eighteen, she reached the finals of Wimbledon. At nineteen, a bad shoulder all but ended her career. Many a world-class athlete may have become bitter or discontented with life at that point.

Jaeger turned instead to helping others. She established the Silver Lining Foundation which transported groups of young cancer patients to Aspen for a week of support and activities, including horseback riding and whitewater rafting. The foundation also provided money for reunions, family campouts, college scholarships, medical internships, and other programs for children who could not travel. Many high-profile celebrities were involved in the foundation. In 1996, Jaeger received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under.

Jaeger's autobiography First Service was published in 2004. In the book, she wrote about her teenage years as a tennis player and her later decision to focus on serving God. All the proceeds from the book were donated to children's charities.

"I'm inspired by these brave kids, and humbled," she has said. "They lose their health, their friends, and sometimes their lives. And yet their spirit never wavers. They look at life as a gift. The rest of us sometimes look at ourselves as a gift to life."

The Apostle Paul goes on in his letter to Timothy to say, "We didn't bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can't carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing." (verses 7,8)

Are you contented today? You may not have all the things you may like or dream of. However you have life - a gift from God. Why not treasure that gift today and use it to reach out and bring joy to another person.

Our Prayer

Dear Father,
We want to thank you for the gift of life which You give to us. We realise it is not our right but a very precious gift. Help us to treasure it in the way we look after our bodies. Help us to use it to enrich someone else's life today.

Lord, we don't have to be rich in money to possess treasures. We can have the greatest treasure of all, Jesus Christ, living and dwelling within us by the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for when we have felt discontent, when we have been selfish with what You have blessed us with, when we have failed to follow Your ways in our life. Thank you for the salvation You give us in Jesus - another gift - that of eternal life.

Please help us to reach out to others today who may not appreciate the gifts You have given. Help us to share the joy and contentment we have with them. Please help us to meet the needs of those who do not have enough food or clothing. Help us to touch the lives of those who are friendless and lonely.

Please be with this dear reader. May they have the peace that comes from You. Flood their minds today, washing away any confusion, bringing order to any turmoil. Comfort them if they sorrow, bring healing if they are sick or in pain, take away their anxieties, and give them wisdom in the choices and decisions which they may need to make. If they are suffering pain from broken relationships, bring reconciliation and love. Take away bitterness and may they rejoice in what You can do for them. Give them encouragement if they are feeling depressed or discouraged. Help them to see above the clouded circumstances they face and know that you are bending over them in love. Surround them with Your angels to protect them and keep them and those they love from harm.

This is our prayer, in the name of Jesus,
Amen.