I just trashed a couple of hours work into the trash bucket. You don’t need to hear the sob story that was coming out of my mind. Me complaining, feeling sorry for myself because everything is not as I wish it would be. I scare myself at times when the shallowness of me surfaces. It wasn’t a complete waste though because it brought me to my knees and when the rubber hits the road, that’s really what it is all about. Our relationship with God our Father, His Son Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit of Christ. I am so amazed that God puts up with us, well me anyway.
I learned something in the military that has stuck with me to this very day. The importance of reference points. A reference point is a situation that you can compare something else with. It helps you put things into its proper perspective and refocus on what is truly of importance.
I have a list of people that I lift up every day in prayer. People like Bill and Mary Sweeney and Kevin Riddle, to name but a couple. The walk they have been asked to walk makes mine look like a walk in the park and yet how easy it is for me to focus on what I feel is missing or not up to the balanced standard that I am accustomed to, rather than on what God has blessed me with. Hardship, I shouldn’t even be allowed to say the word.
Consider what Jesus was willing to go through, because of His love for the Father and His love for us. What I endure is not even in the same ball field, not even close. And then we have the Apostle Paul, who was just like you and I. He tells us SOME of what he endured.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33 NIV
16 “I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.”
What Jesus went through is a reference point. What the Apostle Paul went through is also a reference point, albeit to a lesser degree.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!