I won’t lie, things have been pretty rough lately! I have had a couple of self-pity days where all I wanted to do was cry in my coffee. I have asked God why more times than I care to remember and grumbled and complained to the point of sinfulness. I guess God wanted me to find a little perspective, so today He rained on my pity parade.
I woke up this morning not wanting to get out of bed and then in one down pour after another God brought a little perspective into my life. First, I got some emails in my inbox from my friends in Nigeria reminding me of the tragic conditions in the north as the Boko Harem continues to kill indiscriminately. That reminded me of all the other problems plaguing North Africa at this time: terrorism, violence, civil wars, and disease – made the challenges of my life seem a little less significant.
For most people that should be enough, but it just happened that the class I am teaching tonight is on “Gratitude.” The more time I spent studying the more ashamed I was of my own ingratitude. I had allowed a few circumstances in my life to blot out all of the good, all of the blessings, all of the joy that has been my life. That concept of “counting your blessings” kept plaguing me throughout the day.
As if that wasn’t enough the day continued with lunch with the golden agers at church as they described the loneliness and needs of many of our sick and shut-its and again I was reminded that I am blessed to be strong and healthy, while others just sit, hoping someone will stop by and say hello. I could write a few more paragraphs, but it is sort of like the end of Hebrews 11, “and what more shall I say, I do not have time to tell you about the visitors to my office, or the texts to my cell phones of others who are also facing challenges and struggles, heartache and loss, conflict and strife in their lives.
I wish I could say, “OK Lord, I get it,” but I know human nature and worse, I know my own nature. Unless I am diligent, trusting in God, and focused on the good things in life I will fall back into old patterns. Our struggles in this world are not insignificant, but failing to trust God is much greater problem than the ones I face each day. Today I was reminded of how much I need His strength and guidance and how much other people need me to reflect His image. Thank you God for a little perspective.