I have a great life. I have had years of struggles, which have greatly shaped the person I am today, but these days life is fairly calm and I hate to complain even when I am having a “bad” day. In a church our size, there are always “sober reminders” to keep me grounded. One would think I would become callous to disappointing news after hearing so much of it each week, but some things will always leave me speechless. In those times, I learn more about the reality of life. Other people’s struggles remind me how desperate each of us is for God’s mercy and grace and how incredibly blessed my life is right now.
There are things that no matter how many times I hear them always take me by surprise. Things like:
- When I learn a wife is leaving her husband for another man, it reminds me that what we see in couples does not always represent the reality of what takes place in the privacy of their home.
- When I hear that a young father received an unexpected stage 4 cancer diagnosis, it reminds me that life is fragile and family time has great value.
- When I sign another military “notification in case of tragedy” form indicating that I have to bring “bad news” should something happen to the solider, it reminds me that others serve our country so that my family and I can be safe and worship freely.
- When another teenage daughter becomes pregnant, it reminds me how much pressure is on our teens today and how desperately she needs our love and direction for life.
- When a mother or father loses their job, it reminds me that their biggest concern this Christmas is not what to buy but how will they buy anything.
- When I find out the reason a couple has been married for years, but does not have children is infertility, I am reminded that there is a pain in a couple’s heart that I will never quite understand.
- When I talk with a family who has lost a child to tragedy, it reminds me that some pain in life never completely goes away.
At Christmastime, “sober reminders” always help me remember that Jesus came to those who are hurting, those down in heart, and those in need of a Savior.