Sunday, March 7, 2010

just barely not the truth

I am a person who has a lot of fights with herself. (Some people call it "crazy" -- I prefer the term "over-analytical.") One of the regular arguments that breaks out between my multiple personalities is centered around whether the personal struggles I face are, in fact, personal struggles, or whether they are just something I've invented because I don't have any real problems.

Some people in the world worry about providing food and water for their families, or protecting their children from slave labor and prostitution, or simply surviving in places ravaged by violent wars. And here I am, drinking my Starbucks and stressing out about whether the comment I made at Bible study this morning came across as condescending.

Seeing the massive struggles of millions across the globe can help us gain perspective on our own blessings, but sometimes for me it works in reverse. The easiest lies for Satan to tell, the ones that are most believable, are the ones that are just ever-so-slight variations on the truth. I know the last 2 sentences don't seem to go together, but let me try to tie them in with an example. The Truth: I am blessed to have clean water, good food, warm shelter, a loving family, and a safe community. God asks me to be faithful to Him with what I have been given. Just Barely Not The Truth: I am blessed to have clean water, good food, warm shelter, a loving family, and a safe community. God has given me so much - I should shut up and stop bothering him with my insignificant problems.

If there is anything that we can see when we read God's Word it is his deep concern for the seemingly insignificant. When I think about the types of struggles I have, the things that Satan calls insignificant and unworthy of bothering about, I see that, in fact, they carry great significance in the kingdom of God. Loving my husband and children well. Being a good friend. Putting others before myself. Listening. Being sure of God's calling on my life. Placing obedience above man's approval. Knowing my Savior's abiding love. If Satan can get me to ignore these things and toss them aside as trifling and unworthy of attention, he has won a mighty battle indeed.

God asks me to be faithful -- faithful with the blessings he has given me, and faithful in the struggles I face. It is not for me to say that my struggles are less important than someone else's. Instead I am invited to cast all my cares upon him -- my cares, whatever they may be -- because he cares for me.


Sabrina said...

The mind boggling thing is that, on some scale we don't have the ability yet to understand, those different struggles to Him are the same...? I chew on that concept a lot. Regarding different levels of sin, of blessing, of experience, of suffering. As humans we see the disparity so clearly, and we ask "Why?"

Sabrina said...

Also, you sound like you may be like me. If people are suffering, or doing without, I can't be really happy. It just haunts me. I want everyone to have good things.

Rachel Ann said...

Such a good post...thank you for this.

Also, "Placing obedience above man's approval" - this is the one I'm wrestling with right now.