Depending on God, Even for the Small Stuff

file0001588162732A guest spoke at our church last Sunday on the good work of Compassion International in lifting children out of poverty and hopelessness. Now an adult, she herself had been a Compassion child in Uganda. Her stories of growing up dirt poor and under threat of rebels, illness and wildlife were heart wrenching. I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for struggling with my “First World problems.” Yet struggle I do.

Truly my problems are small by worldly standards. Heck, they’re even small by comparison to the problems that I used to have before turning to God. But I still struggle with them; I still worry; I still lose sleep at night, and I’m trying to figure out why. Why can’t I handle these “minor issues” on my own? Shouldn’t I be better by now?

Here’s how I’m thinking about the answer – I am better, but will never be good enough to manage without God. I think people can’t grasp that (or I couldn’t anyway) when they have major life problems. After all, priorities matter. It’s natural, normal, and even helpful to be completely focused on the big issues as they arise. All our energy and prayers go towards what’s needed most now, and we think, “Once this is solved, I’ll be fine.”

Only we’re never “fine.” Then the next pressing matter, perhaps smaller than it’s predecessor, but still weighty arises, and we find ourselves back thinking, “Once this is solved, I’ll be fine.” I have repeated this cycle many times with progressively smaller issues until finally realizing, I will never be fine. At least fine by myself that is. With God, I can be fine in all things, without God I can’t be fine with anything.

This also helps me understand why, although other people’s problems may seem small to me, they’re still struggling just like I do with my small problems. My brother says that “your problems, are YOUR PROBLEMS” no matter what other’s opinions may be of them. I wrestle with my issues, and you with yours. Let’s help each other, and let’s help each other remember to turn to God.

__________________________________

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   1 Thess 5:16-18

Comments

  1. John Stevenson says:

    Great perspective, Pete! Feel that the real important point is in your last sentence…..to help each other which can(but not always) diminish the impact of our own issues…..but always seek and depend on the Lord. Really enjoy all of your posts……great perspectives and insights!