On one particular day, I came home to dog hair and paw prints on the floor. I loaded the dishwasher and one of the grids from the bottom rack came apart. I found an array of papers, plastic bags, flashlights, and a million other things strewn across the kitchen counter. I turned on the washer machine, it filled with water, but then the motor seemed to have died. I rushed around the kitchen, trying to get dinner on the table. Before I knew it, it was time for bed. It was tempting to get frustrated by the chaos.
But then I remembered Jennifer. I had a friend who died of sarcoma at the age of thirty-four. Although she is now in a much better place, I know she would have liked to have spent more time on this earth. More time with her daughter. More time with her family and friends. More time going to work. More time in the midst of this beautiful chaos that we call life.
And I thought about one of my sisters who never saw her fiftieth birthday. If she had known at the age of twenty-five that her life was half over, would she have done things differently? Would she have loved more? Would she have spent more time with her children? Would she have embraced the disorder we find in everyday life?
Life can make us weary at times. We have long to-do lists and looming deadlines, as we juggle too many plates in the air. But I have found that perspective is key. I think about all the people in hospitals fighting for their lives. I think about missionaries across the globe living in danger as they spread the gospel. I think about my sister and my friend whose lives ended way too early.
And this week in particular, I think about the people in the Bahamas who have seen overwhelming destruction and devastation from Hurricane Dorian. The minor vexations in our daily lives suddenly don’t seem so bad. My heart breaks for all those who have been impacted by this hurricane.
I like the way 2 Corinthians 4:18 reads in the New Living Translation: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see last forever.” This is a good reminder for whatever we might be going through. When we keep our eyes on the Lord, it can help us to stand strong in the storms of life.
When small annoyances creep into our day-to-day life, if we keep it in perspective, they suddenly won’t look so bad. We want our lives to be perfect. So when things appear to be messy, we see ourselves as “less than.” But in each one of these messy moments, we have the choice to turn to our Savior and allow Him to handle our daily stresses with His strength.
And when large tragedies come our way, such as this hurricane, we can pray to our Heavenly Father for help. No matter what we are facing, He is there. When life seems unbearable, He is there. When we don’t have the answers, He is there. When we feel helpless, He is there. He is always there.
Psalm 121 holds a special place in my heart because it is one of the Psalms that my grandmother had memorized. But it’s also a beautiful reminder of how God cares for us. He cares for us in the calm and in the storm…
(The clouds in the picture are from the tail end of the hurricane as it passed through my area of Florida.)