Monday, January 20, 2014

When You Feel Like It Never Rains, But It Pours

You know the old saying, “It never rains, but it pours?”

Photo Credit: Timothy Sullivan (Creative Commons)

Last weekend I was racing to speed clean our living room when the vacuum cleaner broke, and I almost burst into tears. “God, what is happening?” I asked.  If you’re thinking I overreacted, let me explain. Three days before the vacuum cleaner, our stove broke. And the week before that my cell phone broke.

But things go back even further. In the last six months I bought TWO hand mixers, a blender, AND a microwave, all purchased because the originals had broken. (And just this morning my coffee grinder broke!)

With each new—no pun intended—broken appliance my frustration level rises.  Inconvenience aside, they represent a financial burden at a time when we have a host of other needs like braces, airline tickets, and eye glasses for three family members. I’m sure many of you can relate. God is faithful to provide all we need, but sometimes money is short. 

I even asked God, “Are You trying to tell me something? Because if there’s something spiritual behind this, believe me, I want to take care of it!” However, the only reason that comes to my mind is that we live in a country where quality control is VERY LOW, we’ve been here over ten years, and well, stuff does break!

So I have two choices:

I can throw myself a huge pity party.

It’s tempting to bemoan the fact that our support level is not higher and to lament over the fact that appliances are more expensive here than they are back home. I can complain, which affects my husband and our kids negatively.  I can play the martyr; here we are serving the Lord, and we don’t even have the money to buy a new vacuum.  You get the general idea.

Or I can keep on giving thanks.

 After all, I was able to buy a cute, blue, not-so-smart cell phone last week. Thank you, God. And we HAVE a vacuum cleaner in the first place. (How many people in this world never even have a vacuum cleaner?) Thank you, God. I have a faithful husband and happy kids. Thank you, Lord.

As I give thanks, my faith increases just a little bit, and it’s easier to trust God to continue providing all we need, even though it looks like we’re buying each new item by the skin of our teeth.

Ann Voskamp wrote recently about how a musician gets lost if he loses count, but if he keeps counting and moving forward, he’ll make it through even the most difficult piece of music.

So I don’t want to lose count. I want to keep counting my blessings: counting God’s gifts, the million ways in which He blesses me. Even on the weeks when it seems like everything’s falling apart. I want to keep on keeping on. Keep calm and keep counting.

Do you ever feel tempted to throw yourself a huge pity party? What is the most difficult thing about serving overseas for you? What is the thing you’re most thankful for right now?

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