Once dissatisfied, it won’t be long before you make arrangements for your funeral. One morning a king went into his garden and found everything withered and dying. He asked an oak which stood near the gate what the problem was. The large tree told him it was sick of life and wanted to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was discouraged because it could not bear grapes like the vine. The vine was ready to shrivel up because it could not stand erect and have fruit as good as the pomegranate.

One by one, each of the garden plants made their complaints known to the king — all except one, a tiny, beautiful heart’s ease flower. The king said, “Well, Heart’s Ease, I am glad to find one brave, little flower in this general discouragement and dying.”

The small flower answered, “I know I am of small account, but I concluded you wanted a heart’s ease when you planted me. If you had wanted an oak, a pine, a vine, or a pomegranate, you would have planted it instead. I will be the best heart’s ease that I can be.”

Contentment applies as much to the circumstances we receive from God as it does to the things we possess. The fact “good” people have bad days doesn’t mean God has left them. At the same time, the fact “bad” people seem to be doing well doesn’t mean God is on their side. A contented person accepts everything God allows as a part of His perfect will for his or her life.

Will you droop and wither because someone else has a “better” set of circumstances? You’re single, while others your age are dating or getting married. You’re married and having financial problems while another couple seems to be doing very well. You’ve spent months or even years looking for a job while a friend has no trouble getting hired. Maybe you have constant car problems, but a co-worker has just bought a new car. God has a purpose for you in your immediate circumstances. Determine you will be the best Christian God designed you to be in the middle of them.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder