Philippians 4:14-23 (NRSV)
14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. 15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor's household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
There were two travelers on a train. The train was crowded and there were no seats so they could sit together and prepare for their important meeting. As they looked around they noticed an old man in tattered clothing. He looked like a beggar. They told the beggar that he should sit on the floor and allow them to share the seat so they could discuss things of importance. The old man quickly moved to the floor and the two men were seated.
Upon arrival at the city, the two men were astounded at the crowd. They seemed to be waiting on someone important. The two quickly asked someone in the crowd who they were waiting for. They were told that a renowned and beloved rabbi was returning home with a special word for their city. As the two turned to see this great man, they were shocked to see the man who they thought was a beggar. The two were cut to the heart and quickly went to ask the rabbi for forgiveness. The rabbi turned to them and said, "You do not need my forgiveness but that of the beggars for it is they that you have offended."
Mark Twain wrote, "Life does not consist mainly in or even largely of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storms of thought that are forever blowing through one's mind." The Rabbi refused to allow the travelers' rude behavior to affect his attitude. His thought was to show grace and peace.
Throughout his ministry Paul had been treated poorly. He was beaten, stoned, arrested, and thrown out of town. You can only imagine the "storms of thought" that might have flowed through his mind.
And, yet, as we can see from his correspondence with the Philippians, he was grateful and content. Paul's attitude was remarkable considering all that had happened to him, even more remarkable when you consider that he is writing to his friends from prison while awaiting possible execution. Paul tells the Christians at Philippi that he is grateful and content and able to do all things because of Christ. May we be as grateful and content. Think about it.