Day #27

Psalm 105:1-4 

At one point in my life, I toured around singing from church to church. Normally things went beautifully, but this particular concert proved to be a disaster due to the church staff failing to organize. I became so ticked off that it showed. As I complained and tromped about, a man I’d met that afternoon who I knew had lived a harrowing life in a foreign country under a dictatorship, barely escaping with his life, spoke up. He said, “Don’t complain.” 

Those two simple words slapped some sense into me. Here I was in the midst of first world problems, murmuring and complaining. He who’d known real problems told me to snap out of it, and because of who he was, I did. 

Someone said, “I lamented that I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” Perspective is everything. And often the reason we adopt a negative, critical, complaining attitude is because we’ve lost perspective. Our problems have grown to fill our field of vision, not because they’re so large, but because our field of vision is so small. Encountering the suffering of others can powerfully pivot us out of a self-absorbed state. 

It can help to de-catastrophize things that concern us, to remember that bad things could be worse. Think of your concerns and corresponding blessings in three areas: Finances, relationships, and health. 

What are the things that concern you about your finances? Speak that out loud right now. Now, de-catastropize them. So it may be something like, “I live paycheck to paycheck, but I always have enough to eat.” Speak the truth out loud. 

Now, focus on relationships. Tell the truth, both the negative and positive side. What are your concerns? What are your blessings? Speak them out loud right now. 

Now, what about your health? Speak your concerns and blessings out loud right now. 

And let’s pray together. Dear Lord, things sure aren’t perfect. But they could also be worse. And praising you for what’s right is so powerful. Our problems fill our field of vision, but not if we expand our vision. Thank you for expanding our vision. We praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:1-4 

For mental health counseling, coaching, and other resources, you can visit abide.network.

42 thoughts on “Day #27

  1. Cheryl

    I have relationship problems but I also have the hope of God changing me and my heart and thoughts. He is blessing me through my trials. Even though it’s hard to see it that way on a daily basis.

    I do need to change my perspective and be more thankful.

    Only by God’s grace, mercy and strength is this possible.

    Reply
  2. Sandy

    I thank God for my home, finances are getting better every year because I have enough veggies and fruit to eat. I have friends who minister to me. I have kids who are challenging but I love deeply. I have a husband who gets on my last nerve but he loves me deeply & I him. I don’t travel as much as I would like , but I get to walk and run in the park every day as I choose. It’s cold and miserable and my SAD is highest at this time, but I chose joy on the inside every day. Today is not a good day as I’m dragging but I’ll focus on the good, today’s meditation helped tremendously. I’d like to be just still, quiet and introspective today. 🙏🏽🤎

    Reply
  3. Marilyn

    I can really relate to both what Sandy wrote and Cheryl. However, what amazes me is that in my devotional–I find the exact counsel sometimes that speaks to my situation. How is that so perfect? This reminds me that in all the imperfect and painful situations I find myself living through–there is perfect love and perfect understanding guiding me. I am in awe of that and it calms me enough to respond in gratitude.

    Reply
  4. Megan

    I have financial, career, relationship, and chronic health problems, but I also have a big God, and He is with me. (It might just be me, but I am unable to draw comfort from knowing things could be worse, as I half expect things to get worse.) My pain and experiences are valid, even though it’s true that there are others who are in more dire circumstances. Yet, I am nevertheless thankful for the people who are still in my life (for not writing me off), and for the time, space, and opportunities that I do have. I pray to make the most of my situation, and to use my limited energy and resources well. I know God is able to give the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-7).

    Reply
  5. Belinda

    I haven’t seen my fiancé in a year and 3 weeks due to international border closures and have had to postpone my wedding but I’m very thankful for amazing technology that means that I can still speak with him everyday.

    I haven’t been able to keep up with the meditations lately because I have been really unwell. I’m thankful that today I can join in again and Im planning to go back and catch up on the ones I missed.

    Reply
  6. Katrina

    Hi Everyone
    Perspective is one of my favorite topics. It helps me to see others through God’s field of vision. It helps me to be thankful for what I have. Before I had an understanding of perspective I thought it necessary to try to convince others of my perspective. Then I realized that I’m enough and that opened the door to hear others. I pray that my field of vision will grow and grow and keep growing.
    Peace

    Reply
    1. Cheryl

      Katrina, Thanks for sharing your understanding of perspective. I too try to convince others of my perspective, no one ever seems to hear me or understand what I think I’m saying or sees things from my perspective.

      Wow! How did you realize you are enough? Was it a thought or a process or an ah ha moment?

      Reply
  7. Valerie

    I’m far away from my family overseas in various places without the ability to visit or have them visit me, which is hard. Haven’t seen most of them for over a year now. But I am blessed to have my husband’s family not too far away, and blessed to have the ability to talk with my family so easily over the internet. I’m also blessed that they are all doing ok.

    Reply
  8. Shirley Mann

    I have so few problems and so many blessings. One problem right now is that the motor on my treadmill is not working correctly so I cannot use the treadmill. The blessing is that in spite of this I can still walk, mostly back and forth in my house. It is a real blessing to have a nice, warm house in what has been a very cold spell here in Wisconsin. There are some people in Texas who right now do not have heat or electricity and I do. I need to be thankful and not complain!

    Reply
  9. Jane

    I have feelings of frustration when I can’t bring change to situations that need to be changed, for myself and for others. But, I also have a growing faith that I can trust God when He says that He began a good work in us HE will carry it on to completion. My job is to listen and follow His instructions each day.

    Reply
  10. Nicky Dube

    I have debt but I have what I need. If I spend most of my time focused on the blessings, the problems lose their weight and my God seems bigger!

    Reply
  11. Sharon

    I find that reminding myself things could be worse actually makes things worse, because my guilt over not being able to properly cope with such small problems goes through the roof. That leads me down a black hole of shame, beating myself up over not being strong enough to bear the weight of my “light affliction.” I guess the blessing is that God hasn’t given up on me yet.

    Reply
  12. Mel

    I’m finding that the more I practice gratitude for what I have, the more perspective that gives me. We have an old farmhouse that is constantly falling apart and needing repairs, but we are blessed to live on an acreage and have room for a big garden and our kids can run around and free!

    Reply
  13. Kristina

    It is very cold here and no sun shinning and I can’t get outside to walk but I am thankful for a warm home and my treadmill.

    Reply
  14. Sabrina

    I may feel alone because I’m single, but I’m blessed because I have independence, flexibility, opportunities to serve God, and many wonderful friendships to enjoy during this season of my life.

    Reply
  15. Amy

    I have little time for myself but I am learning to make time in the midst of caring for my family. I have some health challenges but I am blessed to have health insurance and access to good medical care. I am struggling with insomnia, but I don’t have to rush anywhere in the morning so I’m able to adjust to whatever amount of sleep I did get.

    Reply
  16. Karen

    I enjoyed this JM#27 as it what I would call a ‘working meditation’ meaning we had questions to answer and our answers needed to be restated. This is a very useful way to untwist any ‘truths’ we have twisted. Getting perspective and expanding my field of vision not only gives me a sense of freedom but draws me closer to God. It is a win-win. 
    Our assignment today is to fill in the blank:
    I have a ‘worry about my children’ problem, but I also have
     ‘ a wonderful husband and friends and a great job, which helps me get perspective so I am not spending my days worrying about my children’ blessing.
    Changing my focus off of my worries and onto my blessings affords me the luxury of not spending my days in worry. God is sooo good!

    Reply
  17. Daniel Parsons

     “I have ____ problem, but I also have ____ blessing.

    I have irrational thinking, a form of mental illness for a problem, but I also have the assurance that Jesus Christ heals people that come to Him and ask for healing which is my blessing.

    Reply
  18. Sarah

    A few years ago, it seemed nothing could get worse. I couldn’t see past the situation I was in. But God has brought me out. I still have residual struggles, and sometimes it feels like I can’t continue climbing the mountains in front of me, but if I look back over the mountains God has already helped me scale, I don’t feel so hopeless. Also, right now when I’m tempted to feel like things in my life aren’t the way I want, I think about what’s happening in Myanmar with the current military coup. Some of my own classmates have been studying online because they weren’t able to return to Thailand because of COVID. But now we never know from one day to the next whether they’ll be able to join classes or not because the military keeps shutting down communication services. Some days there there, some days they aren’t. And when they aren’t, the absence is painful because we don’t know if they’re safe or not. Other students on campus are unable to contact family because they’ve fled and are in hiding. So many people. So much suffering. Come, Lord Jesus!

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      I just realized I forgot the specific part of this. I have residual effects of trauma, but I am free from the situation that caused the trauma, and I have my parents and Jesus Himself walking with me on the healing journey.

      Reply
    2. Daniel Parsons

      Father God, please keep Sarah’s friends and classmates safe in the current situation going on there in Asia. Please help us all be ready for your soon coming, In Jesus Name, Amen.

      Reply
  19. Ann

    I have been disappointed that I still have to wear glasses after cataract surgery. I even paid more for astigmatism correction lenses. However, my vision has improved from 20/1200 to 20/40. That’s significant. I tell myself to be thankful.

    Reply
  20. Vanessa

    Although the atmosphere at work is changing in an unfavourable direction, I am thankful for employment. I am thankful to still be in a position to touch lives. I am thankful.

    Reply
  21. Nowelle

    I have a problem of being self-focused and consumed with my own thoughts. I’m blessed to have a husband and children to care for and that God has our family doing mission work. These things help me become selfless. I long to be like Jesus. 

    Reply
  22. Tara

    My kids’ bathroom literally floods every time it rains hard, and that’s often during rainy season in the jungle. BUT we have five other rooms in the house that are nice and dry. We don’t have a mud floor and we have screen on our windows to keep the majority of the mosquitoes and sand flies out of our house. Gotta keep everything in perspective!

    Reply
  23. Ericka

    interesting. having to think of something. 😛
    i have a problem with speaking up in my marriage but i have the blessing of a husband who decided with me that we arent giving ourselves the option to leave so we are secure knowing we can go thru stuff without feeling like someones going to give up.

    i have a problem of being overwhelmed by the stuff of having 4 kids here, the constant everything, the inability to focus and start and finish anything. but, the blessing is i have these cute little (or not so little in the case of my oldest) kids around here and their love and snuggles and the fact that they will all have each other is a big blessing.

    Reply

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