Scripture Focus: I have learned to be satisfied with what I have…I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content. Philippians 4:11
For several years before she passed away, Myra was the oldest living person in the state of Kansas. Her untimely death occurred just before her 110th birthday. Although Myra was technically my mother’s aunt, we kids grew up knowing her as Aunt Myra.
Aunt Myra was, by a wide margin, the most optimistic and positive person I have ever known. She had a vibrant faith in God, a sturdy optimism, a hearty laugh, and an infectious joy. Her faith was strong, and her chosen response to all situations was to find the good, celebrate the truth, and be content with life as it was.
I always assumed that Myra’s life had been very happy, which explained her attitude. So it was a surprise, as I grew older, to learn the real story of Aunt Myra’s journey.
Myra’s first husband died after suffering a long illness; Myra cared for him at home. He did not die quickly: helping him was exhausting. After years as a widow, Myra married again. Her second husband eventually died from a cause (lung cancer) that made his death lengthy and painful. Myra cared for him constantly; he eventually passed away.
At that point Aunt Myra was invited to move in with her adult daughter. The daughter was in her 60’s and was herself a grandmother. Shortly after Myra moved in, the daughter received a diagnosis of advanced-stage lung cancer. Myra, now in her 80’s and twice a widow, lovingly cared for her daughter until the daughter also died.
Myra’s joy, the greatest I have ever seen, was not derived from the circumstances of her daily life, but instead from her deliberate decision to praise God in all situations. She suffered unpleasant days and deep personal losses, yet her joy was intact. Her example stands as a witness to the contagious power of choosing to be content.
For your personal reflection:
Prayer: Lord, give us attitudes like Myra had. Although her daily life was unpleasant and filled with challenging tasks, she focused on giving You praise. Help us be more like her. Help us make the choice to be content, to be satisfied, and to celebrate the good that You are always doing, all around us, even when we cannot see it.