My husband lost his job five months ago and has not been able to find another, in spite of his education and experience. I, too, have not been able to find a job. This situation has resulted in a need to change not only our lifestyle but our attitudes.
I woke up today with a better attitude about our situation and with a feeling of contentment. No matter what happens, we must keep this life in perspective: it's temporary. As Christians, we have a "bonus" in life -- the encouragement of our brethren.
Contentment can be learned. Paul says, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content; I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." He then concludes, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:11-13).
For most of my life, I've lived with an abundance. Most of us have. My parents told me that when I was little, there were times when we'd be down to a can or two of beans, and that's it. But I never knew it; I never felt needy because of how my parents handled the situation. Isn't that what our Heavenly Father does for us?
We still have a lot to be thankful for; and if the situation deteriorates, we can still be content. I've learned in one grocery shopping trip just how much we CAN live without! And I'm learning how many "needs" are nothing more than "wants" than can either be lived without or delayed.
No matter what life throws our way, God will give us the strength to endure. And when we do endure, we will grow closer to God and have a better appreciation for His gifts -- here and in eternity.