I confess, my hair has always been extremely important to me and I have often said that it has been the “bane of my existence”! I have dreamed ever since I was a little girl of having straight silky hair but instead have curly hair that has a mind of its own.
When I was in the 8th grade I had long hair down to my waist. I knew my hair was wavy and a bit frizzy at times but I didn’t know it was curly. And then, Farah Fawcett arrived on the scene in Charlie’s Angels and I just had to have my hair cut like hers! I immediately began to picture myself with those feathered wings and knew they were going to make me beautiful. Unfortunately, curly hair doesn’t do well with featheredness! And I cried and cried. I hated my hair!
When I was in college, my friend was in beauty school and offered to give me a perm. Don’t ask me why I thought I needed a perm with my curly hair! It was just the thing to do back then, everybody was getting perms. There was just one problem (actually there were a few but this one stands out the most) – they left it on for 2 hours! My hair has a tendency to look like it is not taking the curl when it’s wet and so they finally gave up and took the curlers out. It looked like a beautiful perm while I was at the beauty school but then when I got home and it dried it was a different story. I took one horrified look in the mirror and cried and cried. I had a humongous afro!
Why is my hair so important? Why am I never satisfied with what God gives me?
I’ve noticed something – it seems that often we as human beings are never satisfied. If we have curly hair we want straight hair and if we have straight hair we dream of having curly hair. If the weather is cold, we want it hot and if it’s too hot we want it cooler. We think a computer will make our life easier and then we complain because it’s too slow. We have a large house and we stress about how hard it is to take care of and if we have a small house we are frustrated because we have no place to put anything. And the list goes on and on . . .
Paul says in Philippians 4:11 “. . . I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” What does it mean to be content? How am I to be content when so many things are going wrong?
In chapter 3 of this book he explains how he is able to be content wherever he is at, whether he has a lot or a little. Listen to what he says, “I once thought these things were valuable (he’s speaking about his credentials as a Jew) but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”
What is Paul saying here? I believe he’s saying that when we begin to understand Christ’s true sacrifice for us on the cross and what He did so that we could know Him, all of the things that seem so important become nothing in the light of His great love! That’s how we live in contentment.
How silly it has been for me to focus so much time and attention on my hair when I have the privilege of knowing the One who created me and has counted all those hairs on my head!
Lord, draw my heart to You. Help me to set aside those things that are unimportant in the light of the incredible cost you paid and teach me to live in contentment.