I’m on day 9 of my no sugar and no caffeine experiment and I’m starting to miss coffee. My body isn’t craving caffeine anymore and I actually feel less tired in the afternoons but I miss it. I found myself thinking about pumpkin lattes and how I could make one when I can drink coffee again. I started wondering why I was even doing this experiment.
In a small way this is like the stages of loss or grief. I’m at the point where I feel sad about what I’m missing. As I reflected on these feelings I thought about what Paul wrote to the churches about being content and giving thanks in all circumstances.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Phillipians 4)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5)
I find this so difficult. Missing coffee is a very small example of not feeling content with what I have. More typically I feel restless or dissatisfied about larger things like where we live, the size of our house, work that doesn’t feel meaningful.
Two things help me to be content whatever the circumstances:
Trusting Jesus. When I remember that Jesus is trustworthy and that He works all things for my good and His glory I realize that my present circumstances are under His control. God has placed me where I am in these particular circumstances and I can be content with His strength.
Gratitude. When I reflect on all of my blessings and give thanks to God for all that He has given me I no longer feel discontent. I realize how truly blessed I am and my desire shifts to wanting to bless others.
I’m learning to be content without caffeine and sugar (and chocolate!). I pray that God will use these small lessons to prepare me for whatever circumstances come my way. May I learn to be content and thankful in all circumstances because I can trust Jesus to give me strength.