Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Trials?

Scott often teases me about my desire for trials. Yesterday he painted a verbal picture of our family in apocalyptic times for me. He said, "I can just see us, gathered around a pitiful fire in the freezing cold. Over the coals would be hanging our dinner: a pot of water with chopped up leather shoes floating in it. And still you'd be saying, 'It's just not fair! There are people out there without even shoes to eat! We're not being tried enough!'"

His jokes sting because they're true, to a certain degree. Sometimes I really am that ungrateful.

While I have so much to be thankful for, I'm increasingly uncomfortable with my ease, happiness, and prosperity. I don't have to look far to see people who are hungry, cold, lonely, confused, or ignorant through no fault of their own. I sometimes wish I could trade places with them. Sometimes I wish I could give them my secure and comfortable life while taking on their challenging one.

It's never a good idea to wish for trials.

But I sometimes wonder: Does God think I just couldn't handle it? Then I realize it's my pride and not my compassion that has got me pining for trouble.

I told Scott yesterday, "One of these days we're going to wake up and find we've lost everything. And you won't be cursing God, you'll be cursing me. It'll be my fault for wishing some great challenge on us."

So, instead of wishing for challenges, I'm trying to understand why I've been blessed as I have. And when I'm feeling particularly brave, I'm trying to gather my resources and pit myself against my neighbors' challenges.

Because I have been given much, I too must give.
Because of thy great mercy, Lord, each day I live.
I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see,
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

When I see the inequality in this world and wonder why I emerge unscathed, I learn about the efficiency of God. He allows some of us to be rich and some of us to be poor (either temporally or spiritually) so that we will rely on each other. And the long-suffering saint who gives her widow's mite is no more tried than the wealthy man who is asked to give up everything.

As one who has known little sorrow or misfortune, I am still called to give everything that I have for the building up of Zion. I must gladly receive God's blessings and then turn around and consecrate them all to His work.

3 comments:

Jay and Natalie said...

I don't know what's worse--wishing for trials or feeling that you have too many! It's taken a while, but I think I've finally learned that we are all blessed differently, just as we are all tried differently. I often feel so incredibly overwhelmed with the responsibility and difficulty of being a mother, whereas it comes so naturally for some women--and they love it! However, I am blessed with such a supportive and helpful husband, whereas my neighbor is practically raising her boy by herself.

I find it comforting to know He is always thinking of me by giving me new trials or relieving my burden, however.

Heather of the EO said...

So well said (again).

We will all take our turns with different levels of trials in this life I'm sure. Being there for each other is the blessing in it all.

Lovely post!

Paula said...

You quoted one of my favorite hymns. One thought that has occurred to me is that those of us whose lives have been eased in a temporal sense might consider how much greater contribution we should be able to make to the Lord's work. I think too often we spend our "extra" time and resources seeking greater physical comfort, amusement, etc.