I’m trying to be calm. I’m trying to be accepting. I’m trying to not fight what is happening.
I know that all things work for good, for those that believe in God. This doesn’t mean that it is awesome all the time. Sometimes it is pretty awful. Jesus didn’t have it that great – beaten, flogged, crucified, abandoned by his friends- not a day in the park, there. But it had to happen. It had to happen that way.
I know that the more we fight what is, the harder things get. I know that the more we have to define things as “good” or “bad”, the harder it gets. I’ve learned that anger and grief are both just symptoms of not accepting the situation as it is.
It is easy to think such calm thoughts when you aren’t in the middle of the storm.
I’ve had a pretty stormy time the past week. I just had to spend $1700 on my car on unscheduled repairs. Yes, I’m grateful to have a car that works. I’m grateful that I have that amount in savings. I’m grateful that they were able to take 20% off, saving me $350. I’m grateful that they were able to provide me with a loaner car while it was being fixed. But I was trying to save up some money. I don’t like running things close to the edge financially. My parents did that. They were great teachers for what not to do.
Then I got stung by a yellow jacket. They’ve built a nest near my front steps, and spraying them has seemingly created even more of them. There is no easy way around them, so they have to be dealt with. I’ve called the professionals. This will cost $200.
Then my back went out. I exercise daily, so I thought I was basically guarding against such problems. Maybe I was just delaying the inevitable. Turns out I have a slipped disc. Turns out this is even more money for the doctor and for the x-ray. The money I saved on the discount for the car is going to be quickly used up.
I’m trying to be like Jonah. I’m trying to praise God in the belly of the whale. It is really hard. But I want to, and that has to count for something.
I think when Jesus was here, he came to understand how hard it is to be human. He came to understand that we are distracted a lot by pain and loss. It is hard to be grateful when you are miserable. But I think that is the secret. I think that we have to look around and see what we do have, instead of what we don’t have.
It is really hard.
Sometimes it is easier to be thankful for what isn’t – I’m not incapacitated. I’m not out even more money.
But this isn’t really a healthy path.
So I try again. I’ve got a husband who loves me and looks out for me. I’ve got a house that is cozy and comforting. I’ve found a new doctor who is kind and was able to help. I’ve got a doctor’s note so I can take the weekend off to heal some more.
And pain, strangely enough, is a reminder to pray, and that is always good.