The traffic is crazy, things are expensive, people vary from joyful to grumpy, we have so much to do, there isn’t enough time, I have a cold – the list could go on and on for me (well, for any of us.) It is easy to complain, to express stress or dissatisfaction. It is easy for a statement of exhaustion to become a bit of whining about how much we have to do. I have been reminded this season that most of the things that I struggle with are things that others might love to do.
- When I am tired from building a new kitchen, I am reminded that others might love to have the time or money to get a new fridge.
- When I am pushed to make that next call, I am reminded that others might love the opportunity and audience to help others.
- When I am picking between holiday parties, I am reminded that others might love to have a few friends or a party to go to.
- When I am struggling to get my job done, I am reminded that others might love a paying job.
- When I have a hard conversation with someone I love, I am reminded that others might give anything to have someone who loved them enough to push them.
- When I am sniffling, I am reminded that others would gladly swap their disease for the common cold.
It’s very simple — my worst could often be someone else’s blessed. There is nothing wrong with being blessed, with having things — these are all gifts from God. There is nothing wrong with struggling with the opportunities and people that we have in our life. There is nothing wrong with expressing our exhaustion. We should. We should ask for pray, we should be transparent.
However, it is often in these moments of transparency that things come into balance. We should be thankful for most of what we struggle with. These things mostly would be considered a blessing by someone else. In the rare case that a trial is really a trial, it will certainly result in a better us, a more refined us. I don’t really like the saying, “Things could always be worse.” It is so negative and a dreary look at our future. I think instead, this idea of being thankful – even for the things that seem like struggles – is one of the things that God meant when he said, “Be thankful in all things…”
What are you thankful for? Have you had this moment when it all came clear that your challenges could easily be someone else’s blessings?
Doug Burrier © 2016