While serving in the Philippines as missionaries, on May 27, 2001, Martin and Gracia Burnham were abducted by a militant Islamic group and held captive for 376 days. On the afternoon of June 7, 2002, a rescue attempt managed to free Gracia although her leg was wounded. Martin, though, was killed.
I heard Gracia Burnham tell of those days they were in captivity. They endured incredible hardship as they trekked through the jungle with limited food and supplies.
At one point, they were forced to go without water. Gracia said she was begging, "God, I need water. I can't make it without water."
Then her prayer changed. "Lord, You know what I need. You have something to teach me. Help me to be content."
God blessed her with a spirit of contentment. Contentment--the result of trusting God to supply all our needs in all circumstances--is more satisfying than always having what we would choose for ourselves.
No doubt their submissive spirit was a part of what sustained them during the 376 days. Today Gracia and Martin's hardships so patiently endured are bearing fruit. Some of the militant Islamist group that held them captive are inside prison and three have become Christians.
During one of their last conversations before Martin was killed, Martin and Gracia discussed the phrase "Serve the Lord with gladness" in Psalm 100. Even though they had been walking through the jungle for a year, Martin believed they were still serving the Lord, and they should do it with gladness.
God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him. And His best is better than we would think to ask.
Jesus, You know what I need. Thank You for the grace to let You choose.
"Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6).
"Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God" (Ps. 100:2, 3).