Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
I may be content; that is to say, I may have a calm patience in waiting over night at a miserable inn where have congregated smugglers, and drunken sailors, and the rift-raff of a bad neighbourhood. If, after fighting for my life in my little yacht, I had at last been driven up on shore, myself a wreck, and had crawled out of the water, and staggered to the light, and gone in there, would it not be proper for me to say: "I thank God for my deliverance and for my safety"? And yet every element is distasteful to me. The air reeks with bad liquor and worse oaths; and the company are obscene, and vile, and violent; the conditions are detestable; but that have escaped from the sea can say: "I am content to be here. Not that I am pleased at being there particularly; but as compared with something else it is tolerable. I have learned how to bear this." How did I learn it? I learned it by being swirled around for an hour in the whirlpools of the sea. I learned it by being thumped and pounded by the waves. I learned it by being chilled to the very marrow. So I learned to be patient with the surroundings in the midst of which I found myself. But it does not follow that a man is obliged to say: "I like these circumstances," in order to be content with them.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.