Yesterday, as I settled into a chair for the church staff meeting, I realized there was very little padding to support my back. The recently installed rods and screws began to complain. At that moment, it became very clear I was in for a long, uncomfortable meeting. I started silently lamenting my situation.
Each staff meeting begins with someone bringing a devotional. This sets the tone and reminds us why we are there.
Yesterday was Kay’s turn.
As I sat in that uncomfortable chair, experiencing pronounced back pain, I began to feel sorry for myself. Then Kay read her devotional.
She spoke about the time in her life when she was a thirteen-year-old girl, who traveled from Brownwood to Houston for spine surgery. A rod was inserted in her back.
When Kay was finally released from the hospital, she needed to be transported back to Brownwood by ambulance, but it was not affordable.
Kay’s father was employed by the railroad. They were kind enough to make the necessary arrangements to get her home.
Because Kay had to remain flat on her back, a window was removed from one of the railroad cars, so her stretcher could be loaded on the train. When she arrived in Brownwood, she was gently passed through the window down to a waiting ambulance that transported her the rest of the way, where she stayed flat on her back for the next three months.
Kay spoke about her recovery as blessing in which her faith grew immensely.
It was an incredibly powerful devotional.
As I reflected on Kay’s words, I realized the petty inconvenience I was experiencing was just that – a petty inconvenience. I had no reason to complain or feel sorry for myself. I needed a different perspective. That’s when I remembered an important lesson.
In those moments when I think I am having a bad day, I just need to look around.
I don’t know what pains you may be experiencing at this moment but let me offer a way of looking at these afflictions from the standpoint of one of the greatest figures in our religious history.
Paul, who was no stranger to hardship, pain, and suffering, had a tremendous joy because of the way he approached life. He said, “Rejoice always,pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
This worked for Paul and it can work for you.
Today, when you experience hardship, take a moment to count your blessings and give God thanks. It will make all the difference in the world.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I thank you for all the blessings in my life, those I see but also the blessings I don’t recognize, acknowledge, or understand. Give me a grateful heart and help me remember one day, you will make everything right and the pains of this life will be left permanently behind. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
At one time or another, everyone hurts. What matters is what you do with it.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.