Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Beg Your Pardon

I speak about it all the time. I even included a video clip a couple of days ago here from a recent speaking engagement that proves I speak about it. It is not one of those things that I believe to be true.

This is one of those things that I know to be true.

In this world we will have trouble. The sun comes up – it goes down. Day and night happens every single day. Rain comes and then the sun comes out. Life is a cycle. The bottom line is we are either about to go through trouble, in the middle of trouble or just walked out of it… and the cycle begins again.

Remember that song by the country music artist Lynn Anderson? “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.” I think she was right.

Although we know all that to be true, we still are shocked and paralyzed when the walls start falling down around us. Or the wheels begin to come off. We are human. We hurt and ache and feel despair and feel sorry for ourselves.

And then we meet someone who has it much worse.

Christmas eve I visited with an old friend who was diagnosed about a year ago with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His body is failing and he knows it. But his attitude is only getting stronger. And he inspires those who are privileged to be in his presence.

And during the conversation he hands me a newspaper article about his incredible son who had a spinal cord injury a couple of years ago that left him without use of his limbs. The front page article was about how he responded to the injury and became a world class wheelchair athlete and continues to work, spend time with his family and live a normal life in spite of his tragedy.

And today I talked to a friend from California who got news this weekend that her daughter had been shot and killed. She tried to explain the circumstances but I really didn’t hear her. But I did hear her very plainly when she said, “I will continue to trust God in spite of my pain.”

The truth is no matter how bad we think we have it, somebody has it worse. And no matter how we handle our trouble, it is not difficult to find others who are handling their trouble much better.

And through it all we have an opportunity to grow as human beings. And maybe we even get to find out if the faith we profess is really genuine.


Anonymous said...

I once heard a quote from a woman who had just lost her entire family in a car accident. I don't remember the words exaclty, but it was something like; If God didn't want to use me so greatly, He wouldn't have let me hurt so badly. I know it is not proper English, but it holds a lot of truth.
Mike H

Peggy Herbert said...

A great & appropriate quote: "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet". (We need only to look around us to appreciate what we have and where we are in life.)