Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trouble - The Common Denominator

I was at work and a fellow employee casually passed by. She is always cheerful, always encouraging, and always wears a positive attitude. I had just been contemplating how few things I had crossed off my Christmas list to this point and I had the thought, "I'll bet she's all ready for a rosy Christmas with stacks of presents already wrapped and under the tree."

christmas treeImage by hodgers via Flickr

In a flash my mind concocted a vision of a way-to-bright Christmas Tree, presents piled up high around it, the sound of classic Christmas carols being crooned in the background by Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, and the smell of mulled cider percolating wafting around. Jealousy as green as the fantasy Christmas tree welled up in my heart.

Then, as soft, clear and quiet in my heart as a flash of lightening was the thought, "She has troubles, too. Everyone has troubles."

"Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer." was the statement made by Soren Kierkegaard. Job, who was no stranger to trouble, said, " Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7)

We all have troubles. It is easy for the woman longing to have a baby to look at the woman with her small children in tow and think with envy that she has in her hands the secret of contentment. But that more than busy mother of curious little hands and feet has troubles.

The person with no money can look to the person with a full bank account and suppose that they have no worries, but money brings it own problems with it. Keeping it, protecting it and knowing if someone loves him for himself or his wallet are a few of his troubles.

The person with health issues looks toward the well-bodied person and thinks they have a heart of happiness, but though the physical is well, the spiritual may be wracked with pain. Everyone has troubles.

The issue is not the trouble. The issue is the answer to the trouble. My friend who always seems content, cheerful and positive is not that way because she has no troubles. I know this for a fact because I know of some of her troubles. She is cheerful and positive and content because she knows the Answer to her trouble.

She has learned that she cannot depend upon things or situations or other people for her contentment and peace in the world. She knows there is only One who can be in her heart that "Peace which passeth all understanding". There is only One who can be for her that "Joy unspeakable and full of grace." She has learned to depend upon Him in every situation and in doing so, His grace and joy flows through her to others.

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:
for when I am weak, then am I strong. "

2 Corinthians 12:9,10

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