OH, BOTHER

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. II Corinthians 4:16 (KJV)

“Rats,” I can almost hear Charlie Brown say.

It’s that time of year again when ash and cedar allergens are off the chart. We’re walking around (if we dare get out of the house) sneezing, coughing, tearing, and being generally uncomfortable. We get out our favorite antihistamines and whine and complain about living in this place where we don’t have to shovel snow or go without basic services in bad weather.

And yet, this happens to us periodically. If you live in South Texas, you accept a few seasons of allergies instead of freezing temperatures and cities shut down with hazards of road travel, among other inconveniences. And we all know that this, too, will pass.

Physical discomfort (not speaking of terminal illness, that’s another topic) need not affect our souls and our spirits, let alone our attitudes. We can pray for grace, begin praising, and give thanks that the next serious wind will change our circumstances. We can differentiate between the eternal and the temporal.

My precious mother has been in hospice for over two years. Any time I speak to her or visit with her, she has something positive to say about our Lord. She could complain about not being able to get out of her chair or the limitations of being in one room or any number of things. Her mind left her years ago, and her body has steadily declined. But her spirit seems to be renewed every single day so that she is a delight to everyone.

Let’s repent and discard our whine, pack up our tissues and nasal sprays, and carry on with joy and grace. There are too many blessings awaiting us to miss out because of little things.

Father, thank you for your patience with us in our complaints about the mundane things of life. Lord, the way we handle the small things reveals who we really are. Strengthen us now so that when the big tests come, we will be prepared. Grace us and make us saints. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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