Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 17, 2011

On Those Less Than Perfect Days

The long-awaited and much-anticipated day has finally come and gone – October 15, 2011. My son and daughter-in-law departed for Chile! Although I knew it was coming, I still wasn’t ready. When they arrived at our home the weekend before, they were a bundle of excitement and a to-do list pages long. But from the beginning of their week with us, things did not go as planned. The perfect week we so wanted to spend together was just a little less than perfect. Let me explain.

First of all, both Blake and Bekah arrived sniffling and sneezing, victims of allergies and colds. Although feeling a little under the weather, they were determined to not let it spoil their plans and pushed ahead to enjoy their week. And that we did in spite of beautiful fall weather that gave way to clouds and rain on our outing on the Parkway, in spite of our hot water heater that went out and had to be replaced during the week, in spite of the kitchen faucet that decided to send water only through the sprayer, in spite of a fishing trip that survived the rain, but where only one tiny, tiny, in fact the tiniest fish I had ever seen was the only one caught, in spite of a day trip that had to be taken to Atlanta to complete the sale of Blake & Bekah’s vehicle, and in spite of the never-ending chore of sorting, packing, and re-packing trying to get everything packed and ready to go. In spite of all the less than perfect things that happened this week, however, we were all blessed!

Surely we were blessed with those things that went right – a fishing trip not rained out; a Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday celebration all rolled into one; a nice lunch with both families before Blake and Bekah left. Yet we were also blessed in the midst of all those less than perfect things. How can the same things that irritate and annoy us one day be so easily tolerated on another day? I think it has something to do with our focus.

Somehow, with Blake and Bekah’s leaving looming on the horizon, having to use umbrellas to view a waterfall or dealing with the hot water heater just didn’t cause the same agony. Instead of focusing on what was wrong, we were just happy to have the week to spend together. But what about those everyday kind of days when nothing special is going on? Where is my focus then? Do I become lost in monotony or overwhelmed by a heavy load? How do I react when I feel slighted, hurt, or used, or when I feel I’ve done everything right and everything goes wrong? Do I look for others to blame, perhaps even God? Where is my focus?

The Bible has something to say about our focus in life. Paul told the Colossians: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2-3). Just as my focus last week was on something more important than the minor inconveniences or setbacks that occurred, the mind of the believer should be focused on things above, things of an eternal nature, not on temporal things. When we keep our eyes on God, we gain perspective. Those everyday problems and inconveniences seem to be less important when our focus is primarily on things of eternal value.

In addition, when our lives are hidden with Christ, He blesses us with tools that can help us experience victory in the midst of our everyday struggles and trials. Christ give us —

  • peace – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
  • joy – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
  • patience – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).
  • power – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • hope – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

I admit that I as I watched Blake and Bekah disappear into the airport with the cart piled high with suitcases and trunks, I was thinking more about the loss I felt at the moment, my temporal pain, than anything of eternal value. The tears that blinded my vision, however, did not obscure the peace, hope, and yes, even joy, that I have in my heart because of Christ. Just as Christ reassured His disciples before His departure, He assures us as well: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So with our focus on Christ and hidden in Him, we can have victory and discover blessings beyond measure even on those difficult and less than perfect days.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

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