Things could be worse, you could have this guy's job!
On occasion I get stressed out. The convergence of challenges from church, school, family and self make me cranky and my wife notices. The godly woman she is, prompts her to ask me- “So what things are going well? How has God blessed you/us recently?" Shari and I have been married for almost 18 years, so I know when she asks me those questions I must be looking or sounding negative. God often uses her confrontations of my sin to give me repentance. What a treasure such a wife is! I think all of us battle with perspective. We very easily forget all the ways God has blessed us and is blessing us. We get caught up in challenges or trials and tend to see the world through a negative or depressed lens. At such times I encourage you to answer the questions Shari poses to me every so often. Here’s how I would answer them today-
1. I have a great wife and children. They love me like no one else. They love me despite of my bouts with selfishness or other sinful demeanor's. They pull me back to where I need to be with great faithfulness. They motivate me to lead our family.
2. I serve a wonderful church. The latest of innumerable encouragements came when over 80 people came to the recent volunteer organizational meeting to help lead committees for the capital stewardship campaign. Let’s face it, paying off debt isn’t as glorious or attractive as a building campaign for the construction of a sanctuary. Yet, these folks want to serve and help Redeemer finish it's building phase and get to the place where we can be most effective for God’s Kingdom. Further on this subject, in my almost 14 years of ministry at Redeemer, I have been continually amazed by God’s movement in our congregation when challenges are before us. I look forward to what He will do in our midst, especially in the upcoming few months of the capital stewardship campaign. I am so blessed to be a pastor here.
3. I serve with faithful leaders. I think the strength of our church comes directly from the godly men God has placed as elders and deacons at Redeemer. I trust them completely. My faithful fellow pastors- Nathan and Brian are like brothers to me. Jon Meyers is our trusty Barnabas.
4. My knee is getting better. No, this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of the universe, but it has been a very trying time for me. I was most concerned with gaining a bunch of weight while relatively sedentary, that’s something I struggle with. I asked God to help me be self-controlled during this time regarding food. So far my weight has stayed stable and physical therapy on my knee is going well. I am very close to being cleared to jog again, which is amazing in itself. I am so thankful to God for this.
The list could go on, but these four things give me joy that is full enough! I don’t know how you are feeling today or what is challenging and confronting you. I am sure there are some negative things that won’t go away immediately. I’m not trying to candy-coat life. You can still think about some of the great blessings God has given you. Answer Shari’s questions for yourself today. It will help.