I’m thinking of two thoughts today. One is about our fears and another is about perspective. I’m thinking of all this because I’m still recovering from my stint at the Art Museum over the weekend, which was fun and exciting and also way way way out of my comfort zone. And when I say “recovering” what I mean is I have some health issues, so I always have to deal with that, and then I am an introvert and events like that take me a while to center myself from. In the scheme of life, in the big picture of challenges facing each of us and our world, these things are very very small.
I talk about things big and small. I share them because it helps and then you share some of your stuff and hopefully that helps, and in the process we can all help each other.
God is in everything. Every. Thing. He cares about it all. And that’s great! He tells us over and over in the Bible to not be afraid.
But when we are caring for each other, I also think we need a little perspective. I’ve been in a few prayer groups where people were very blessed by things like wealth and family, so their prayers were about things that were very different from other people, meaning that they asked for their vacations to be blessed or for their children who had gotten into great schools to not have this particular challenge (which was a teacher asking them to re-do an assignment) and on and on. These were still challenges for these people, but because their lives had been so blessed they really could not put it in perspective when someone else, who had had challenge after challenge now had the emotional weight of unemployment on their shoulders. You know?
Our blessings and challenges are not all equal. God cares about them all. He is in it with each one. But perhaps, when we are asking each other for prayers, we can look at these situations with perspective.
I don’t know about you, but my personal experience has been that some of the folks who are asking me to pray for vacation-related things are the very same people who fluff off my prayer requests. Who give me a flip answer they have heard somewhere in response to topics like child abuse, infertility, or financial hardship. They cannot wrap their minds around the pain or difficulty because they have never experienced it.
Every event I do, someone tells me a personal story. I am someone that is a listener. While events put me outside my “comfort zone” they also allow me an opportunity to have someone else feel validated through listening and caring. I know this. I have seen the grateful smile in someone just being allowed to tell their story. I can feel the pain in other’s stories. I have met a lot of people and I see that some have had challenges that many of us cannot imagine. And I have also seen people whose lives have been blessed in ways we cannot imagine. I don’t know why some people experience one thing after another and someone else doesn’t, but in this (like all the things I do not understand) I need to give it over to God. God is just. And in that, I have to release my questions and thoughts of “fairness” and allow God to bless us in the ways he chooses. This is not easy. It is something I struggle with but do anyway. And in this, when we request prayers and pray for each other, let us also put our challenges in perspective so we can truly be a blessing to someone else.