Something that I realized once in a rare moment of clarity was how, as Americans, we are so incredibly blessed that even most of our “problems”—the things we worry and complain about—are really just outgrowths of our blessings.
Let me give a few examples…
(1) The main complaints you hear from college students center on (a) how expensive college is and (b) how difficult and stressful college coursework is (I have been guilty of both of these complaints in my life). But from another perspective, it’s easy to see how fortunate we are to live in a country where the government provides a great deal of assistance in paying for college and basically gives students as much time as they need to pay it back. Furthermore, whatever temporary stresses and hardships college work can bring on someone is more than made up for by the opportunities a college education affords. Having the opportunity to go to college is a great blessing!
(2) You hear people complain all the time about their cars (I especially hear this from teenagers!)—about how they are too small, or too old, or not cool enough, or get poor gas mileage, etc.—when the idea of owning a car is literally unimaginable to most people in the world. Owning a car is a great blessing!
(3) People complain about their jobs—about low pay, or how boring it is, or how mean their bosses are, or how annoying their coworkers are—when there are people all over the world who are unemployed and in desperate need of work. Having a job is a great blessing!
(4) Parents often spend a great deal of time worrying about their children. They worry about how their kids do in school, if they have the right kind of friends, if they have enough friends, getting them to every sports practice on time so the coach will give them playing time and they can grow up to become the next superstar in their sport. Some parents have children with health concerns, and worry about the uncertainty associated with that (this one strikes home with me). But all of these worries are only made possible by the fact that parents have children in the first place, and children are truly one of the great, great blessings of life!
(5) And finally, from a spiritual standpoint, I hear Christians complain all the time about problems that exist in the church of which they are a part—people they don’t like, bad sermons, unfriendliness, lack of programs—when there are millions of people throughout the world who have never even heard of Christ, or even if they have heard and decided to follow Him, have no local congregation of the church to be a part of. You wouldn’t be able to complain about your church if you didn’t have one; having a church family is a great blessing!
Obviously, I am speaking in generalizations here, and each of us has trials and issues that we have to face in our own lives. But on the whole, we are so incredibly blessed…I don’t know what we’d do if we had to deal with real problems on a daily basis.