Summer is almost over, school is getting ready to start, gas prices are high, grocery store prices are skyrocketing, and the housing marketing they say is cooling but try finding a place to buy or rent around here, we haven’t had enough rain, monkeypox is on the move, Covid is here and then gone and then here and then gone, summer colds are kicking us around, and what is up with my golf game? I can’t buy a birdie or a par or, quite frankly, a bogie.
Isn’t it funny to think about the things in life that bring us down? If you take a step back and consider the whole of your life, it’s amazing what things we allow to steal our joy. We let circumstances and people steal our joy away from us and it can happen in the blink of an eye, the snap of a finger, or the tap of a foot.
James said to consider it pure joy when we face trials of every kind. Jesus said that if you are reviled or persecuted for His name’s sake you would inherit the Kingdom. But we aren’t talking about being persecuted for being a Christian or about real trials in life. We are talking about simple, silly things that we allow to turn smiles into frowns.
Allow me to convict us for a moment. Did you know that 10% of the world’s population (700 million) live on $1.90 per day? For every 1,000 children born, 39 will die before the age of five, worldwide. In 2016, 63 million children aged 6-11 didn’t attend school. Here is a gross one, today, 8.9% of the world’s population practices open defecation. And 45% of the world’s rural population lacks the resources and knowledge to manage their health by washing their hands with soap and water.
It’s all about perspective. If you really had to assess your life and could take a comparison shot from 30,000 feet above the earth and compare your life with those worldwide, how do you think it would look?
Let me answer that for you. Life is good! We are blessed! Many people in the world are facing trials that are of no fault of their own. They couldn’t help they were born in a third-world country.
My thought for this day is simply to choose to be happy and rejoice in who God made you to be. It is so tempting to want to be in a different situation or to have more of this or that. Let’s just enjoy, even if for a minute, that we are creations of a Holy God. That He loves us enough, even though we are sinners, to send His Son to die on the cross for us. Smell the flowers, hug your spouse, hug your kids, look up at your roof and say, “thank you,” pump that overpriced gas in your car with a smile on your face that you own a car, and whether you are eating steak or hotdogs, do so giving praise with humility, that you have something to eat.
And as you are practicing or experiencing joy, offer up a prayer for those around the world not just asking for God to fix their problems, but asking Him to show you how you can help.