Last week, I found myself...again...in a cycle of doubting & self-pity that...again...quickly turned into complete wallowing in the "woe is me" attitude. It's a cycle where I can find myself in high spirits, hoorah for God, & appreciating life for what I've been given on each particular day but slowly the enemy creeps in and one tiny "harmless" negative thought turns into this cycle of big negative thoughts that leave me feeling hopeless and full of the ugly thing that is self-pity.
I remember driving home one evening last week trying to push my thoughts, my anger, my irritation, my "stuff is unfair" complex out of my head. I tried to put life into true perspective as I should to see all the abundant abundant blessings (which I obviously don't deserve) God has given me. I made the mistake of not "capturing" my thoughts but I was determined to change them. At the same time, I could literally feel my flesh side saying "BUT look at the bad in YOUR life...who cares about those problems...let's focus on what's wrong in your life." Talk about spiritual warfare. You ever wanna truly live FOR God and not yourself? Look out for it. It creeps up from every crevice and every crack of weakness you have. I'm not trying to be "preachy"...I'm just trying to be real.
Anyways...back to the topic. Perspective.
Think about it. Seriously.
- Kid's cranky and getting on your last nerve? Allowing that to set the mood of your whole day? Are they healthy? Do they have congenital heart defects? Cancer? Leukemia? ... No? Then be thankful for the healthy children God blessed you with. Crankiness or no crankiness. I have a friend whose 2 year old was diagnosed with leukemia in recent months and it's so saddening to see the battle they are facing. Even to see some of the prayer's she requests, show how many children & families suffer through this.
- Hate your job? Be thankful you have one. With the high unemployment rates in this country, be glad God has provided a way for you to support your family. I'm serious. Do you know that children really do work in sweatshops or that in certain areas of India children work in dangerous mines so they can help support their family and there really isn't another option for them? Lots of people in your community can't find work and some can't feed their families. If that happens in your community in the great USA, imagine how much worse it is in other countries?
- Life is too hard? See above. Do you have a roof over your head, food to eat, & clean clothes on your back? Congratulations your officially better off than 75% of the world (according to the internet - I could be wrong.) I mean seriously...have you ever even really starved?
- Too much to do in one week? Is that really a reason to feel miserable or resentful or unhappy? Be thankful for mobility of your body. For clarity of the mind. For life.
- I really don't even want to start on the list of petty things I find myself concerned over. (I wish I had THAT car or THAT house or THOSE clothes. Blah. Blah. Completely irrelevant stuff that make me wonder how I ever consider a those reasons to be unhappy.)
As I'm learning in my Bible study, don't stomp on your manna in search of meat. When you think you "deserve" something from God or from life, remember that you don't even deserve the life He's given you. Cause we are all wretched sinners. He deserves an awful lot more than we ever have, ever can or ever will give Him. As I've seen posted online before: If God was only to give you what you thanked Him for today, what would you have?"
Me? I'd have almost nothing.
Please note: I'm not condemning anyone here. I understand that people have real & very painful issues that make life seem unfair. (Including myself) I know that some people reading this may have literally been starving before or have a child with a serious illness or can't find a job. I didn't write this to judge or make people feel bad. I wrote a lot of this for myself so when I find myself on the journey to self-pity I can look back at this and remind myself that my cup runneth over.
So to myself: Your cup runneth over. Don't forget it.