Okay, I admit it… there are some days I just like to whine!
I want to curl up on the couch, wrap up in a blanket and have my own little pity party. And yes, I would like some cheese, grapes and crackers to go along with my “whine”, thank you very much!
There are days in my life when “life” can seem just too overwhelming. It is time to pay the bills… again. (Didn’t I just pay those last month?) The children are hungry… again. (Haven’t they eaten already once or twice today?) The car is in the shop… again. (Forget the fact that we have more than one; what an inconvenience!)
Then there are the days when I like to whine about the big things… “Why Me?” (Now is the time I insert all the other problems from my life; you know… the ones that don’t seem to have any solutions… the ones that have lasting earthly and eternal consequences… the serious ones that leaving me gasping for breath each and every day!) I just want to ask God, “Why Me?”
He doesn’t owe me any explanation! I know everything about my journey has been to increase my faith in Him. I know there is always a greater purpose at work that will ultimately lead to God getting the glory. But there are times I just get frustrated! I just get tired!
Most who read my blog live right here in the United States (though let me thank the many readers who stop by from countries all across the globe!!) We live in the Land of the Free! We have much… too much! And what we have… is never enough. This causes an inner struggle within me. I am a single mother of four: two in college and two still under my wing. I see people every day who have so much more than I do. I have often wondered what it must be like to live in their shoes; just to have the necessities of life not be a worry. But then I am torn when I see the families who live just a few miles across my little town. They have so much less than me… there are many days they are hungry. And then I see the pictures of those so far away. I see the faces of children who just need clean drinking water so they do not die… it is a level of poverty I can not begin to truly fathom. These are images that seem to be permanently etched into my mind.
So I live with this daily internal struggle: not having enough… while at the same time having wealth beyond measure!
It can be hard to keep things in perspective when you stay so far removed!
We have a tendency to harden our hearts and thicken our skin in this area. It’s not intentional, but we have seen the commercials and television specials to feed the hungry for most of our lives. We just get… used to it.
We know there are homeless people… we donate our old clothes to the organizations so they can have something to wear. We also donate a few dollars during a natural disaster relief campaign or as the holiday seasons approach. That should settle our conscience, right?
Now… on to looking at that new house we want to buy, or that next vacation we want to plan; back to writing our Christmas lists and looking at the holiday advertisements for more items we really don’t need. (Oh, I can be so guilty!)
Honestly, I think Jesus would be ashamed of me; I think He would be ashamed of us….
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
I believe Jesus would be the ultimate “Share the Wealth” proponent, but not by the government’s involvement… rather, by the Christians’! People in the New Testament of the Bible sold all they had to follow Christ. Would we be so willing? We as Christians, as a church body, should never not be doing “something” to help someone else. We should be giving the coats off our backs and the food from our refrigerators, and using the time we have been given to bless others.
We should be doing more… so much more!
Instead of whining, “Why Me?” in regards to the things I don’t have or the circumstances in which I find myself, maybe I should change the questions I am asking God….
“Why Me? Why did you choose for me to be born in this American society, instead of the unfathomably poverty-stricken areas of Africa or Haiti?”
“Why Me? Why did you choose for me to be born into a fairly peaceful land instead of the war-torn countries of Rwanda or The Democratic Republic of Congo?”
“Why Me? Why was I born into this country and generation where everything comes so easily that we take so much for granted; where we have clean water that runs freely from our kitchen sinks, and fully stocked grocery stores stay open 24 hours a day, while in Ethiopia or Guatemala they die from malnutrition and disease-ridden drinking water?”
“Why Me? Why was I born into a country that allows us the freedom to vote, to choose our own education and employment, to bear arms, and to speak what we want, instead of a communist or government-controlled country such as China or Iraq?
“Why Me? Why was I born into a country with modern medical technologies and advancements, while others are born into areas filled with HIV, AIDS and Malaria?
I recently read a book that I challenge EVERYONE to read: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker (click HERE to check out her website). She is witty, and writes with such honesty that she will feel like your best friend; she will make you laugh and cry! If you have not read this book, stop what you are doing and order it right now. (Seriously, my blog will still be here waiting when you are finished!!)
**But, DISCLAIMER WARNING… it might just change your life!!
So, I pray that during this Thanksgiving season and throughout the rest of the year (and the rest of my life), I will put away my “Whine.” (Please note that I will keep the Brie, grapes and crackers!) I pray that I will stop whining “Why Me?” and instead ask God, “Why have you blessed me so greatly, and how can I use it to bless others?”
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Will you join me?
Here are just a few ideas to get us all started….
1. This year, lets give it all away:
2. Sponsor a child in need. (Check out the ones dearest to my heart; the ones forgotten that have been waiting for more than 6 months)!
3. Sponsor a family in your own church or community. I am sure there are many families with the fathers out of work, widows that need help financially and emotionally, military families, single moms raising their children on their own and orphans (by either death or abandonment). May we all open our eyes widely to those sitting next to us or living next door! Sponsor them during the holidays and throughout the entire year!
4. Volunteer to feed the hungry at a local food kitchen… not just for a few hours one time, but continuously. May we as Christians flood the shelters and homes with our willingness to serve every day of the year! (This is one we can do even if we don’t have a lot of tangible dollars to give.)
5. Donate, donate donate… the items in our closets, the food on our shelves, the time we spend watching television and playing games or looking at pictures on Facebook or Instagram (ouch… that one hurt).
6. Instead of giving gifts or accepting gifts, spend the money (no, not on another cruise) but instead on a mission trip! Let’s get our fingers dirty and truly do something that matters and has everlasting implications!
7. Emotionally invest in someone who is hurting: visit a nursing home or a shelter… just listen to or hold the hand of a lonely person who needs to know someone cares.
8. Consider adoption… a true rescue and life-changer for a child (of any age) who desperately needs to be loved! Or, donate to a local adoption center.
9. Cook meals and take them to friends and soon-to-be-friends. Cook for those recovering from surgery or fighting cancer or other illness, for those going through an emotional or financial crisis, or just for anyone else (for no reason at all)… to show them Christ’s love! Click here for a fun website to get you started!
10. Love, Love, Love… sometimes a person just needs to hear your voice (maybe an old friend) or receive some words of heartfelt encouragement; to feel they have not been forgotten. Always be on the lookout for ways you can bless someone else!
This list is just the beginning; the opportunities are endless when we stop looking through our narrow lenses and instead open our eyes to the hurting and hungry all around us!
We as Christians should be making a HUGE DIFFERENCE across our communities and across the world. If we do it all in HIS name and for HIS glory, we may even find ourselves blessed beyond measure, in ways we never thought possible; the beauty will amaze us!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the Glory…” (Ephesians 3:20-21a)
I am so thankful for each of you who have read this blog (even though there have been many months of silence)!! I am always amazed by how God uses these humble words to reach people across scores of countries throughout the year!
I pray that each of you will be blessed beyond measure during this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season!
From my family to yours… May you find the beauty in today,
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥
Recent entries from my gratitude journal (to read more about this, click here):
367. God’s continual promises to not be afraid… that He will fight for me!
376. “7”… no additional words necessary!
379. A big prayer… ANSWERED!