We all have challenges in our lives, whether illness, poverty, grief, relational, or any number of issues. It seems in our current culture we operate like spoiled brats sometimes. We all have done it. We have complained, whined, moaned and groaned about our petty little issues that pale in comparison to some of the issues others are dealing with.
I once went to see a man speak at a church. He was the guest speaker at our large church for the month. I arrived early and took a seat with my wife and we began to do the usual things while waiting for things to get going- look through the bulletin 20 times, smile at the pastor, wave from a distance to people we had seen before, etc..
Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a very handicapped (physically) man, slowly and painfully making his way to the podium where he would speak. After 10 minutes or so, he was up there and ready to speak. He opened with what sounded like some grumbling, unclear, gurgled speech and I awaited for him to clear his throat or take care of whatever was wrong. There was nothing wrong. He had to struggle to speak just as he had to walk.
He went on to tell of his great life, how he was thankful for the things he had been blessed with. During his talk, he mentioned that he must get up early each day, since it took him around 3 hours to get dressed due to his disability.
He gave us a wonderful picture of what we would call a terrible life. At the end of his speech, after sharing all the things he is involved in to help others, and his travels to share his story with others, he closed with one sentence;
” I spend 3 hours a day just to prepare for leaving my home, off to a painful day of sharing my testimony. What’s your problem?”
We need to step back into reality sometimes and put our own ‘ problems” into proper perspective, We also need to stop judging others, when we have no idea what they are dealing with. We need to start being givers not takers, servants not masters, and loving the hurting people around us. You just never know how close someone might be to putting a gun to their head as you mock them, or pass them by without a greeting.
You may never know, but I do. I watched it unfold in my own brother’s life. He was hurting. We argued. He was in need, I was not in a giving mood. He was falling apart, and I was full of my self. We were watching a television show one night, he walked out the door saying he was going for a walk, and we found him 3 hours later with a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head, just down the road. One minute watching a television show., the next a suicide.
We all need to assume that others are traveling a harder road than we are. Trust me, you would rather err on the side of caution. Comfort someone today, encourage those around you, put yourself last today. You will be amazed at how much good it will do for others, and how much it will teach you.