Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is It Really That Bad?

As I sit here and type this blog there are hundreds of women and girls crying out as their ISIS captors use and abuse their bodies and even more horrifying are the reports that these men are in desperate search of Viagra to feed their selfish desires. At this moment there are also thousands of Christians who are sitting in prison cells enduring beatings and torturings that are unimaginable to us in our Western world.

What happens when we take a few moments to actually enter into the world of these people? What if we took 5 full minutes and tried to enter their world? Think of their tears, their cries, their pain, their mourning the loss of loved ones. Think of all the children taken from their parents, and parents who have their children ripped from their arms, and let your mind feel what it would be like if it was your child. Why don’t we do this more?  Is it because it seems too painful?  Our natural being hates pain and suffering…its contrary to how we were originally created but yet very much a reality in our lives.

As I have been laying here for 1 month now there has been plenty of opportunity to think, and in thinking to focus on those who have it worse than I do. Let me share the blessed results:

1. It motivates us to fulfill our biblical command, Heb 13:3, Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.  This then in turn leads us to:

2. Pray for them as often as they come to mind.  1 Thess. 5:17, Pray without ceasing.

3. Press on ourselves to fight the good fight till the end,  Hebrews 12.

4. But ultimately our mind is also being led to focus on Christ who suffered more than we ever will, never complained, and was faithful to the end.

What comforts we have in God’s Word for those who are faithful. “Faithful” also means our reaction to afflictions both great and small.  Am I enduring my cross as Christ would have me to do?  When we meditate on those who have it worse than us our “blessings” shine much brighter.  Have I had to lay here for one month doing nothing? Yes but every day I listen to music and my soul is fed. What healthy person would be able to do that? Am I acutely aware that once given the green light to get up and around more I will be in the negative as far as my POTS goes? Yes but I’m thankful that I now know the route back to improvement although it will take months. Do I see the furrowed brow because of constant pain when I look in the mirror each day? Yes but there has been slow improvement and I can take some simple pain meds. Do I see work that I wish I could do? Yes but I have a faithful husband and wonderful children who have been by my side and shouldered much of the work. I have a loving church family as well as extended family who have been very kind. Blessings upon blessings…there is never an end to our blessings.

And so even on days like yesterday when a pity party was forming and the tears were beginning to brim in the eyes, one look to others who have it so much worse or even more so one look to Christ’s sufferings and instantly the tears  dried up.

Many of you know that I have had great trials in my life and this has been one way that I’ve gotten through them as well as I have. But I do have a great confession to make.  I am much better at counting my blessings when great trials come upon me than I am when little everyday trials or annoyances happen.  Case in point: this morning I had this blog churning in my mind and it was about to be sorely tried. My loving husband wanted to get to work “early” but nobody was coming to help today. What happened? I started looking at my “little trials” and not counting my blessings. The dishes weren’t all done. The wash wasn’t started. The counter tops weren’t all wiped to perfection. I tried using my 5 minutes up to do things and was utterly exhausted and in more pain. What happened to the blessings? My husband brought me my breakfast and Advil in bed so I could get relief before showering AS HE HAS EVERY MORNING FOR THE PAST MONTH. My dear husband made lunches and got the kids off to school AS HE HAS EVERY MORNING FOR THE PAST MONTH.  He made the bed and even arranged the pillows as I like them. The kids did their morning jobs. I have a warm house, can take a warm shower, have food to eat, and the list could go on for a long time.  So what if I have to look at dishes all day. So what if I have to walk past the lid that’s laying on the kitchen floor that didn’t bother anyone else enough to get picked up. So what if my counter tops aren’t washed to my perfection. So what if the wash isn’t done today…it was done yesterday and can be again tomorrow. So what?? So what??? Oh shame on me.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.