From behind the cold iron bars
   of the prison of my own torment,
I wanted the secret of contentare
   for any possible circumstance.

I understood it is grace acquired
   over the marching of much time,
But I needed now to know it true
   in spite of my chains' presence.

No gritting of my teeth to endure,
   or wishing things were otherwise,
I wanted true joy and steady peace,
   at least my mind's feet may dance.

Not at the cost of indifference or
   ignorance, with hands thrown up,
Just not controlled by dank walls
   intent on keeping me prisoner.

But with deep-seated acceptance
   of who I am and where I now live,
No longer by what the world says,
   but by the might of a higher power.

Paul, of New Testament fame,
   said he learned the secret of such,
Said he knew contentare abased
   and in abundance, I dared wonder.

He said it was in Jesus alone
   he could do all things, in Him,
In His power, through anything,
   even in the shackles of Rome.

Captivated by His excellency,
Proclaiming His supremacy,
Embracing His sufficiency,
Savoring His every blessing,
Grateful for His very sacrifice,
Accepting of His saving love,
Paul called on Christ Jesus,
And to him was given peace
   that surpasses understanding,
To him was given all strength
   to meet the weight of his load,
To him was given the will
   to accept even death as gain.

I called on the name of Jesus,
   whose spirit lives in believers,
I called on Him who wants me
   to deny myself, to carry a cross,
I called on Him who wants me
   to abide, to be filled by Him,
I called on Him to empower me
   to strengthen me to do all things,
I called on Him to show me
   the joy of life and living for Him,
I called on Him who is the prize
   to never let go of my hand,
      as I walked by Him alongside
         toward the only Promised Land.

There, so rare, I found contentare:
   now living in Christ, and He in me,
      staying in Christ, abiding faithfully,
         trusting in Christ, He alone is hope,
            calling on Christ, after Him I so lope,
               empowered by Christ, forsaking mine,
                  I found more than just content, Sonshine,
                     the joy only possible through Him divine.

The spirit of Christ Jesus,
  sitting atop the throne
   of my forgiven heart
         is the secret
     of being content,
         no matter
         the state
    of what, when
        or where...


Philippians 1:21, 3:8, 4;4,11-13
Colossians 1:27
James 1:2
1 Peter 3:14
John 15:11
2 Corinthians 12:9
Jeremiah 29:11
Isaiah 12:2, 26:3-4

by J Alan R
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