My conclusion is that the biggest issues and concerns that we carry in life should not be our own.
I don’t want to trivialize the reality of the pains, problems, stresses and other issues that we face in life. And especially not the genuine tragedies of life such as the death of a loved one, a marriage break up and other such crises. However, in regards to most of the problems that we face most of the time, I just think we need to put them into perspective. This in no way causes them to disappear but actually puts us in a better head, heart, and faith space to deal with them.
The plain reality is that most of our worries are just not that big a deal. If you are reading this post you probably accessed it on your own personal computer, or the computer you use at your job, or on a computer in a shopping mall that you just paid a few dollars to check Facebook with. All of which hints at the fact that whatever issues you have in life at the moment they are not likely to do with finding clean drinking water, getting some food for your children before they die of malnutrition, or the impossibility of obtaining medical treatment for an easily curable disease.
These sorts of issues are not our issues. Thank goodness. However they are the issues of around 2.8 billion people in the world that are trying to live off less than $2 a day. They are the issues of the 30,000 children that die every day because of hunger and malnutrition. They are the issues of another 6,000 children that die each day because they lack clean water and sanitation. They are the issues of the parents of these children, if the parents are still alive.
Understanding these sorts of crises, genuine issues that face millions and millions of fellow Image bearers every day, helps puts our issues into perspective. In honesty my own personal concerns and worries look insignificant, certainly not worth losing sleep over, and defiantly not insurmountable. I thank God for his goodness, his faithfulness, his blessing, and his favor on my life. I move forward in the power of the Spirit and I deal with that which is in front of me.
More important than gaining perspective on my own worries in life is the challenge to make the worries of others my own. When I do this, those issues don’t just help me with that which I am facing, they change the whole way that I live my life!
- My reliance and trust in God is deepened.
These issues are overwhelming. I am forced to look to God, to put my trust in God, to cry out to God. I can’t carry them or solve them on my own despite the burden I feel. My devotion and relationship with God is deepened and grows. I can make those issues my concern but I can’t carry them. I have to look to God. I pray more. I am more aware of our need to be saved.
- My life style is challenged.
I am forced to ask big questions. In a world with so much, why do so many have so little? Where should I spend my money, what is truly important in life, what is simply noise and clutter? Am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution? I depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me as I push forward. I determine not to brush things over as being too difficult or complicated. It’s too big a deal to do nothing. I find I am challenged to change my priorities in life, the way I consume, that which I value. I discover a simpler way to live. A more right way. I discover a different path, the Way of Jesus.
- I find freedom.
Rather than feeling lost in problems too big, I find freedom to live unconcerned with that which consumes society so much. The rat race doesn’t matter. The ladder doesn’t matter. The house, the car, the boat, the clothes, the status, accolades, fame, fortune, and anything else society holds to be significant fade away. I’m no longer trapped in a game that counts for nothing. I’m no longer concerned with the perspective of others who judge from a set of criteria I no longer live by. Rather I am free to be who God called me to be, to live as God called me to live, to be consumed by that which is on His heart rather consuming that which society declares necessary.