This happened today.
I’ll spare you a picture of the ugliness underneath the lovely red wrapping. I was rushing to finish cutting the last slice of the cheese block for sandwiches because, as usual, I was running late. The very sharp, much loved Cutco knife I had received for Christmas slipped sideways through the cheese and almost took out a sizeable chunk of my finger. As it was, I needed six stitches and a tetanus shot.
After the chaos of figuring out what to do with the kids while I went to Urgent Care, the rest of the day wasn’t really a bad day, but I had one of those days where I go and go all day long from one place to another: my homeschool co-op, my work (where I realized I had forgotten to bring the book I needed to teach and that I had forgotten to change out of my jeans–I got the book but didn’t have time to change), the doctor’s office for Mr. C’s well visit, the ice cream store to soothe a distraught Mr. C over a Hep A shot, the library before I would be charged for overdue videos, my church for Wednesday night Bible study, then the grocery store for items for a sick kid. Food, water (my daily struggle), and the bathroom–you know, the basic needs–were largely neglected. By the time I was at the grocery store at 9pm, I wandered the aisles, not able to concentrate enough to find anything quickly.
When I got home, after grumbling while I put all the groceries away, I slammed my finger in the door. Yes, THAT finger. That was the straw that broke me down, and I burst out crying.
Then I remembered something my Vietnamese student had said when I explained about my finger earlier today. She said that in Vietnam nobody would ever go see a doctor to sew them up if they had cut their finger.
I was grumbling because my body had a little less food and water than usual. But I still had more food and clean water than many in the world do every day. I was tired from having gotten excellent health care for myself and my son, another major luxury. I was tired from picking up free educational books and videos for my kids, something homeschool moms in countries around the world would love to have. I was tired from studying the Word with like-minded godly women, an activity for which some women are imprisoned and even die in some countries today. I was worn out looking through a staggering amount of food choices, a benefit I wouldn’t find in most places around the world.
If I had grown up in Vietnam and lived there when I slammed that finger in the door, instead of a throbbing finger, I would have fully reopened the wound with blood dripping profusely.
Yesterday, I was praising God in awe over all the prayer requests He had recently answered for me–healing my leg so I could run again, helping me find a great part-time job to help with our finances, providing a way for me to go to a writing conference I longed to attend, and giving me the courage to talk to an intimidating person about how I’m praying for him.
Today I’m back to grumbling?
No, I will not let Satan, my enemy, say about me what is said in Psalm 13:4: “ ‘I have overcome him,’ And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.” No, I will instead say as David said in Psalm 13:5, “But I have trusted in [God’s] lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
And He has! Praise the Lord!