I’m going through a season right now of frustration in the money sense. It’s a long story, terribly boring, so I won’t go into it. But, as I wrestle through budgeting well, clipping coupons, and wondering how it is that I work so hard and make so little, that little voice shouts at me.
The rest of the world is not wealthy. So many live in abject poverty. So many suffer. So many are dying of AIDS. Why do I spend energy getting discouraged over money when I’m so rich? (And now my internal editor is shouting: Why did you use so many ‘so’s in those last few sentences.)
This is where my head goes. Does yours? By thinking that way, am I unfairly minimizing my own issues?
Hard to say. I do want to have a global perspective. I don’t ever want to forget that many folks need running water, access to medicine, safe food sources.
And yet, Jesus cares about the little things in my life too. He loves me. He wants to take care of me. The question is: do I work harder? Try to make this all work? Or do I rest in the lesson of contentment for today? Do I stay in the place of having a keen understanding of the world and the sheer enormity of my blessings?
Then I read this from the latest Christianity Today. It’s an article entitled “Singing in the Chains” by one of my favorite authors, Mark Buchanan. It’s an exposition of Paul and Silas in prison when the jailer gets saved. Mark writes this, referring to the jailer and Paul and Silas’ fellow prisoners: “Who among them had ever witnessed such peculiar people, singing and praying in the face of colossal personal disaster? Who had ever heard of a God who, seemingly absent from or indifferent to these men’s suffering, nevertheless called forth from them such pure devotion.”
Buchanan continues, “It means knowing this God so personally that we have cause to sing even when there is no earthly cause to warrant it. The more that saved means includes knowing a God who empowers us to face the worst and become our best.” (p. 32).
Oh let it be. Let it be. My trials are small indeed, when compared to the capabilities of God. Instead of fretting and scheming, Lord, give wings to my voice. Let me sing instead.