Many of us have parents and/or grandparents who lived through the Great Depression in America. Some of the phrases and “proverbs” that came out of that era were passed on to us.
“Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Money was tight, if there was any money. What you had was what you had, and people became pretty ingenious when it came to keeping things working. Things made for one task were found to be useful in other ways. “Hand-made” was a not just a common term, it was a necessity.
“Waste not, want not.” “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It’s hard to imagine how much a penny would buy back then, and a nickel, well, a nickel was riches! When a man worked for as little as 50 cents a day, or just for food (eggs, fruit, meat) there wasn’t any reason to complain; everyone was in the same situation. And like fixing things up, you made leftovers (if there were any) disappear by eating them, not throwing them out! And the stuff you couldn’t eat like bones and viscus were given to the hogs or chickens to keep them healthy so THEY would soon add to the fare.
Gardening became a way of life. If you wanted vegetables you either grew them or purchased them or traded for them from someone who grew them. Fruit was a real treat. Apples were fairly common along with watermelon, pumpkins, cantaloupe, while oranges, grapefruit, and bananas not so much. Even in the early 50’s nearly 2 decades after the depression, oranges were a real treat to be found in a Christmas stocking for many people.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church (Philippans 4):
11…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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.
Paul recognized need. But for himself, even though his need existed, he did not dwell on it and complain about it, but accepted it as a part of his life and current situation. Then he said this:
13 I can do all this through Christ Jesus who gives me strength.
We are not promised a magical resolution to all our need. God does not promise to miraculously end or resolve every bad thing that comes along because that does not build faith and dependence on Him. When we’ve reached the end of ourselves, our ability, our resources, God is there.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4)
3…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5)
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5)