Reading "One Thousand Gifts"

Paul says he has learned to be content with whatever he has -- this seems to me to be linked to freedom to praise.  Certainly if I am content with whatever I have then I am free from the desire to have more . . . This freedom from desiring means I will be content with what I have . . . being content with what I have means thanking God for what I have . . . which means praising God for what I have . . .  Okay, now does that mean whatever . . . 

Sitting here thinking on this . . . 

When one is in pain, physical pain or mental, one focuses inward.  At the same time, the physical body tenses up when it is in pain . . . both of these, physical and mental, will lead one to focus inward, to tense up.  When you are tensed up you are not experiencing freedom.  You can't move about freely -- physically or mentally.   That means when I am in pain -- whether physical or mental -- I am not experiencing "freedom to praise."  

So this is a conundrum -- to be pain free in order to praise yet focusing on praise in order to eliminate pain . . . 

This then actually reinforces the fact that I need strength from my Lord, from my God. . . without His strength, without His Spirit in me, I do not have the "whatever it takes" to be pain free in order to have freedom to praise. . .
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