August 23, 2014

Whoever Said the Good Life Was Easy?

Contrary to what some believers think, God has not promised any of us a life free from pain and suffering. This may seem counter-intuitive to comfortable, coddled Westerners, but it is patently obvious to believers in other parts of the world.

I try to keep this in mind when thinking about my problems. They are "first world" problems. I've been tremendously blessed. I have been given so much more than so many others. And I'm not thinking only of believers in other parts of the world who are facing real persecution. I look around in my own context, and I see people who are much worse off than I. People whose trials make my own look trivial.

My life has been free from any major difficulties. I've never lost a close friend or loved one. I've never had a major falling out with a family member. I've never been left at the altar or faced a major illness. I've never faced unemployment. I've always had clothes on my back, food on my table, money in my pocket, and a bed to sleep in. Yes, I've dealt with bouts of depression and anxiety, but even those have been relatively minor. I know several people who've been depressed enough to consider suicide. But even in my darkest moments, I never countenanced that. My problems with anxiety, too, are nothing compared to those of others I know of. By most standards, I've lived an easy life.

Despite this, I'm still often dissatisfied. I look at my life, and I know, objectively, that I have nothing to complain about. Despite the fact that my difficulties are relatively small compared to those of others, they feel no less difficult to me. The problems I face, trifling though they may seem to others, are still my problems.

I say all of that to say this: I am weak. Believing, as I do, in the providence of God, I can only conclude that God has blessed me with a relatively easy life because he knows that I can't handle anything else.

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