Thursday, September 15, 2016

Don't Give Up!

Pss.4:1 “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”

So many mornings I rise from bed forgetting I’m disabled and I stumble out of the bedroom door almost tripping over my sleeping dog. When my eyes fully open and the pain kisses me good morning, I remember I’m disabled and go over what it means to me on that given day.

I could return to the bedroom, plop down on the bed and pull the covers over my head but I won’t allow myself to get to that place where I don’t want to face the day. I’m not giving up that easy. I don’t know if it is right or wrong but I start to think of the people who have it so much worse than me.

There are people who wake up and need assistance getting up. There are people who need an aid with them twenty-four hours a day. What I’m saying is that there are people much worse off than me and here I am dealing, okay?

I’m here to tell you, DON’T GIVE UP! There is always, someone somewhere out there dealing with a life that is much worse than the one you’re dealing with. Often it doesn’t feel like there could be anyone or anything out there in the world with a situation or health problem worse than yours but really look around you, intently digging for someone who is a little worse off, or extremely worse off. 

It can be as extreme as the homeless man living under the bridge in a cardboard box with sores crawling up his body that needs medical attention but is not getting the help he needs. It could be the single lady down the street with a full-time job, and five kids who doesn’t have enough food to feed the family and no husband/father around to assist. It could also be someone as simple as the man raging passed you on the road, eager to leave you in his dust, that is worse off than you. 

When we’re off climbing our own mountain, struggling with each step, we rarely look around us to take note of who might have it worse off than us. Imagine climbing a mountain in a wheelchair. You might see it as impossible to do any climbing but to the person in a wheelchair, they’re climbing mountains on a daily basis that you or I might have thought impossible. 

It’s all in perception. We live in a world where everyone is always thinking about themselves and how bad it is for them. From a selfish perspective, they are worse off than ANYONE they look at when in reality, there is always someone struggling just a little bit harder than you.

About a month ago, my mother-in-law unintentionally hurt my feelings. I had said how uneasy I felt with my husband and son off at work and I’m alone to do ALL of the chores (in my disabled capacity) especially mowing the lawn. “Well, I mow my own lawn.” Yes she knows of my inability to walk well and yes she knows my age but she was comparing me to her, an almost 70-year-old. 

It hurt only in the fact that I sat envious for a moment. Like when hubby and I went to WalMart and I sat in the car under a shade tree. I watched as older women unloaded their groceries from the cart into their vehicle. I sat with tears welling in my eyes; I sat with a tissue in hand pacifying the tears and pitying myself. 

After getting over myself I fought! I fought tooth and nail not to see myself as a weak individual! Sure the immense ninety-degree heat would hinder my outside chores but I would not allow anything to hinder my inside chores! I can write, vacuum, wash clothes, cook, clean; I can do a lot of stuff others only wish they could do and instead of pity, they have my empathy. I totally relate to all you can and cannot do on a new level.

Instead of resentment of the older folk doing more than me, I now felt contentedness in knowing that God is taking care of them and has enabled them to do and live as long as they have. They’re out there overcoming the mountain and it filled me with delight. Just so you know, God is taking care of me too, just in a different way and I’m okay with that. 

I remember years ago when I had to take care of my grandmother after she had a stroke. She was wheelchair bound and full of negativity and actually resented me for my peppiness and positive view on life. Here I was full of life and she felt her over active lifestyle was taken away at too young an age, she was eighty when she had her stroke, and she gave up trying almost immediately after being released from the Physical Therapy Hospital she had been placed.

Years later while on her deathbed when I called to speak to her, (I was in Texas, a million miles away it seemed) she asked for my forgiveness in the way she had treated me when I cared for her. She was remorseful and she let me know that she loved me but she was now afraid to die. Her not having a religious bone in her body, I assured her that God would take care of her and I felt with every fiber of my being, that He would/did! 
“How do you know?” she asked. 
“He doesn’t give up on anyone!” I assured her.

I felt confident in saying that God doesn’t give up because it is my faith to believe. If you don’t give up, God surely won’t give up on you in your desperate time of need. In self-pity, in selfish envy, in pride and shame, He doesn’t give up, nor should YOU!

Matt. 18:33 “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?”


Donna Sundblad said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story to encourage us all. So much to ponder and think about. Thank you.

joni said...

Thanks, Donna. I sometimes (almost all the time) think that I'm the way I am because God wants me to tell how I overcome. I'm okay with that.

With God I overcome everything! I think everyone has a story to tell and now is the time to tell it. We're not going to live forever.

I'll go down with a fight! And rise to eternity. :) Amen! :)

Donna Sundblad said...

We are overcomers, but I think it is inspirational that you show your struggle and that you overcame. Sometime if we only show the outcome, those who are living through the struggle feel inadequate. Really appreciate your willingness to be honest and show the rollercoaster of emotions we all go through.