When I wrote a post last year about High Class Problems,
I asked the Lord to forgive me for complaining about the stress of book revisions
and the pain of living ten hours from our grandkids.
Since then, I’ve encountered these people:
1. A dad who’s nearly blind because of diabetes raising his four kids alone after his wife took off with an online lover;
2. The sister-in-law of an acquaintance having to continue to work while going through chemo, because she’s the sole insurance carrier of the family;
3. A dear friend visiting her son in a psychiatric hospital the week before Christmas to tell him that his grandpa—her dad—passed away.
Again, I feel overwhelmed by the blessings of health, family, and freedom I often take for granted.
1. So, we hit a deer and our car was in the shop for four days—we had a church van to use, and the insurance covered all but $250 of the repairs. Our car now smiles in the sun, showing off her face-lift.
2. So, our son could be with us at Christmas for three days—we have a healthy, brilliant son who loves us enough to drive ten hours over snowy roads to visit us.
3. So, I’m stilled bummed that I can’t see my darling grandkids more than three times a year—but they cannon into us when we arrive, knocking us over with joy. Perhaps if we were next door to them, we’d not get that royal treatment. We are heroes to them, and that just feel s so spectacular.
Once again, Lord, forgive me for complaining about my high class problems. Please use me to lift up those who are broken and hurting, showing them the way to You.
When you are tempted to grumble about your leaky ship, does the Lord show you someone in a sinking boat, to give you perspective?
When we moved from Los Angeles to rual Illinois, we needed an education in winter sports.
At Army of Ermas, I relate our first experience with donuts in the snow. I hope it adds some warmth to your week!
When Mom called Friday night. I expected the usual run-down of weather, car repair troubles, and goings on at her church. Instead, I heard, “I have some bad news for you. Daniel died.”
I screamed in horror, sank into a dining room chair, and dropped my head on my arms across the table, sobbing. I was so hysterical, Kevin had to take the phone from me. Daniel. My only brother. Gone. It couldn’t be. He is just four years older than I am, far too young to die.
We won’t know the cause of death until sometime next week, after the coroner’s report. I am still in shock and anguish of soul. But I know my God is merciful, and I believe that if Daniel turned to Him in his last moments, He received Him to His everlasting home, where he’ll never be sick or depressed again.
I thought of this article I wrote last year. It’s even more relevant to me now than it was then…
Have you seen the t-shirts, caps and car stickers declaring, “Life is Good”? Although I generally agree with this statement, I have a little different viewpoint on life:
When your stomach is full, life is good. If the meal was tasty and you had dessert, life is tremendous.
When you are so sick you haven’t seen your appetite in weeks, life is rough.
When you are holding all three grandchildren on your lap and singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” life is fun.
When you miss the grandkids’ ballgames and ballet recitals because they live three states away, life is difficult.
When you know at least one of your family members love you unconditionally, life is sweet. If there is more than one, you feel blessed beyond counting.
When you are forced to say goodbye to someone you loved sooner than you’d planned, life is horrible
Which is it, then? Delightful or dreadful? That depends.
Jesus told His followers, “I came to give you life abundantly (John 10:10).” He also said, “In this world you will have tribulation (John 16:33).” Jesus acknowledged that we’d have happy days and horrible days. He was not an idealist who refused to admit the presence of evil in the world, hoping it would go away if He ignored it.
The secret to Jesus’ success on the rough days? He spent time with this Father, getting His perspective. Jesus often stole away from the crowds to spend hours, even entire nights in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and strength. This is how he maintained control and composure when a lynch mob tried to throw Him off a cliff, or religious leaders accused Him of doing miracles by the power of Satan. Because He was full of His Father’s thoughts, Jesus always faced darkness head on, refusing to tremble or run from trouble.
While we may not be able to spend all night in prayer, we can follow Jesus’ example of turning to the Father when we need wisdom for horrible days. We can sit quietly and simply listen to His still, calm voice in our hearts. We can open His word and mine jewels of direction and understanding.
Life is good. Life is also hard. Yet, we do not have to crumple in a heap of despair and fear when hard times confront us. We have the same solution Jesus had, because His father is our father, too. When life is anything but good, we can turn to Him for love and comfort.
How do you best relate to God when you are troubled or sad?
My friend Joy called recently, asking if I could adopt her three-legged cat, Lizzie. Joy and her late husband rescued Lizzie from a dog attack when she was a kitten. After the vet had to amputate her front right leg, she recovered wonderfully, and doesn’t realize she’s less than perfect. She jumps, catches mice with one front paw, and even chased one of Joy’s dogs who was annoying her!
Joy recently re-married after spending two years as a widow. She and her new husband have five dogs between them, and the new Mr. Joy is not a cat person. Joy wanted someone to adopt Lizzie that loves and understands cats. What an honor that she chose me!
So far, Lizzie has hidden behind the sofa, in my office closet, and on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. In spite of her timidity in new surroundings, I hear her purring. She may be scared, but she’s singing nonetheless.
Scared, but singing. I need to adopt that method of facing my fears.
How do you manage new situations? What helps you overcome your fears? Have you known someone who was limited, but didn't let that hinder them?