Everyone strikes some sort of trouble at one time or another in their life. Even those who don't court disaster, sometimes find themselves buffeted and shaken by misfortune. Those who do like to flirt with problems tend to form solid relationships with them. They usually receive more than they bargained for and wind up blaming everyone else for what they brought on themselves.
There's a classic little saying employed by wiser heads when tragedies of varying degrees strike. "There's always someone worse off." It's a way of keeping things in perspective which enables someone who is suffering to endure with good grace. It is also used by less sagacious well wishers who, despite their insensitivity are typically well-intentioned. However, suffering is a really personal thing.
I've had my share of misfortune and disappointment, and I would classify my divorce as a tragedy; likewise the death of my father aged just 74, but now I find myself in such happy circumstances that all I can do is give thanks to God. I joke now when asked how I am. My problems are so trivial that I'm occasionally reticent to voice them.The person asking me may well be in the midst of a hammering from cruel and indifferent happenstance. Should I keep silent?
Is it okay if I, in the process of explaining how blessed I feel, share my troubles in heavy tones of irony? My deodorant doesn't last all day. I'm using a different brand, and by the end of the day, sometimes not even that late, I begin to offend myself. My regular brand -Rexona original roll on- works until the very end. Even after an hour in the gym, I can still smell Rexona, albeit mixed with a little whiff of me.
Long silver hairs sprout from my nostrils overnight while I sleep, and my personal trimmer is less effective than a pair of tweezers, or scissors. A crop of similar follicular offspring has sprouted on my chest. More and more hair grows on my body, but I still can't grow a beard.
Three nights' accommodation recently cost me a bottle of Vodka, and I'm going to have to buy petrol this week. I loved not having to spend that $50 last week. And work? Oh, don't get me started. I had to work fifteen minutes unpaid overtime last week. I'm nearing my wit's end with this stampede of woe.
I hope this makes you happy. I hope you will at least smile, even if your world is falling apart. I've been at the bottom. I've cried my self to sleep at night. I've felt pain in my body and my heart, but I am in a season of blessing, and I am soaking it up. Being a worry wort, means I have an ongoing wrestling match in my mind, but I keep on speaking God's truth out loud. Sometimes I have to ignore what I see and what I feel, and trust God: my strength and my song. My anchor. My prayer is that the hope with which God fills my spirit, overflows to encourage others.
And I will make it my aim to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)