"I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet." -- Persian proverb
I'm sure we have all heard this saying and undoubtedly it has given us a boost in perspective at one time or another. I've even prayed similar prayers thanking God for minimum damage when things very easily could have been worse.
I mean, it's all about perspective, right?
Consider the Persian proverb above. Complaining about not having shoes can quickly be turned to gratitude that you have feet when you come across a man who has no feet. That's a sobering perspective that can cause even the greatest complainer to walk away whistling his favorite tune.
That is of course, unless you are the man with no feet.
He must then rely on the man with no legs to bring a tune to his whistle. This perspective could continue on and on until the final man is found who has no one else to look to and is stuck complaining because there is none worse off than he to bring perspective to his pain.
The Apostle Paul however, gives us a more proper perspective as he shares his wisdom in regards to finances and daily need.......
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul's perspective was not that of looking to those with less, in order to be thankful for what he had. His perspective was not on "what" but on "who." Paul learned how to be content. His contentment and strength was in The Lord Jesus, The Christ, The Son of The living God.
Job also shared this faith over perspective when he had lost everything........
Though he slay me, I will hope in him
Or perhaps James........
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds
Perspective can be a robbery of God's glory in our lives when we seek our peace and contentment based on better or worse circumstances and not on our peace in Christ.
May we be like Paul and learn how to be content with little or much for our strength is in Christ.
May we be like Job and hope in the God of our salvation even as He see's fit to take all He has given us away.
May we heed the command of James and be joyful, not in spite of our trials but because of our trials.
May our prayers change from a gratitude of earthly perspective to a rejoicing of endless and unwavering praise and thanksgiving. Not because it could have been worse but because it is exactly the way our glorious God designed it. He is worthy of our gratitude of Him. We are worthy of nothing. Let us ever be thankful, even when we have our worth.
~ Tony D.