The first time Karen ever took me to visit her parents was on Thanksgiving. We sat down for Thanksgiving dinner, prayed and started passing the food around. I dipped out a generous portion of mashed potatoes and scooped out a huge reservoir for the gravy. However, my future mother-in-law did not have any gravy to offer us. It was obvious that I was expecting gravy, and she was a bit embarrassed that none would be forthcoming.
No one said anything about it at the time, but it has become a favorite story in our family. Now, before every Thanksgiving meal, my mother-in-law announces to everyone that we do have gravy for our mashed potatoes.
Paul was living on prison food when he wrote these words to the Christians at Philippi—“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.” (Philippians 4:12).
The secret of our contentment is the salvation we have in Jesus Christ. Anything else is…well, gravy.