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This has been an interesting week: it started last Thursday night when Donna (my wife) broke a molar. The dentist couldn’t see her until yesterday, and fortunately, there was no pain. The result is about $350 for a crown.
Next, the Saturday after she broke the molar we noticed the freezer wasn’t keeping things too cold, and by Sunday we knew that the fridge wasn’t working. Long story short, we couldn’t get anyone (after calling half a dozen appliance repairmen) to even look at it until the other day, and they need to order a part which, as I am writing this now on Friday morning (almost a week after the fridge died) we still don’t know if the part is even here. Yesterday Donna spent the whole morning throwing away who-knows-how-much money worth of food that we couldn’t use anymore because it had been defrosted and sitting unrefrigerated for days. The repair will cost us somewhere around $350, as well, without even considering the cost of replacing the foodstuffs.
So, what do we do? Complain? There are many who would say they are “under attack” and try to figure out why God is punishing them.
“Oy! I’m on a fixed income and I just lost close to $1,000 by the time we replace the food! What did I do to deserve this?”
Is that the right thing to do? If you’re asking me, I would say no. Are there times when we are under attack from the Enemy? I am sure there are- usually, when people first turn to God and Messiah they find troubles abound. That’s because the Enemy doesn’t care about people when they don’t care about God but once God becomes important to them, he attacks them to turn them back away from God. Think of the parable (drash) Yeshua told of the sower and the seeds in Matthew 13:18; the seed that was immediately eaten by the birds is similar to those who come to God and are quickly turned away.
I see this as what happens to you when you live in a fallen world. There are two kinds of gravity: the one in the physical world that is an attraction between objects, and a spiritual gravity, which is what attracts us to spiritual things. For instance, if I drop my cup of coffee, it falls to the ground and spills. I have a mess and, worse than that, no more coffee: that is the physical gravity we live with.
Now, if I find the iniquity in my inner being pulling me to, say, porn sites or to take advantage of someone so I can gain something of theirs, that is a gravity of the spiritual nature which attracts me to the Enemy. Or- I could feel the need to help someone in trouble, buy food for a homeless person on the street or donate to a godly cause, and that gravity is a spiritual gravity that attracts me to God.
Currently, I don’t feel under attack because we got hit with both physical and financial tsouris all within a few days. It is just the sort of stuff that happens in this plane of existence. We will get by, and here is what I do when this sort of thing happens that is the main message for today:
When (bad) stuff happens, I thank God for what we do have.
I thank God that we have the money to pay for these things, that we even have a refrigerator that we own. I thank God that we even had food to lose! I thank God that Donna wasn’t in pain and that the problem wasn’t worse than what it is.
And I could go on and on and on thanking God for what we DO have, instead of complaining about what we lost.
We live in a fallen and cursed world, which will never be kind or generous or even fair. That shouldn’t come as a surprise or a revelation to anyone. But what might surprise you is that when things get bad, when you have more tsouris than you can imagine, what will help you get through it is to thank God for what you do have. Just the act of making a list of the blessings you still have will reduce the impact of what you have lost.
And always, always, ALWAYS trust in God to provide: it may not be what you want, but it will always be exactly what you need.
So when bad things happen, make that list of the blessings you still have. Even when you lose something valuable to you, you can thank God for letting you have it for as long as you did.
No matter how terrible the tsouris you are going through when you make a list of the blessings you have received and still have I guarantee that you will begin to feel better.