When you want to whine that you don't have enough money to go on a family trip this year, remember that someone else is wishing they had a family to do anything with.
When you want to feel self-pity because you have to rock your teething baby to sleep and you are tired, remember that someone can't sleep because there's no baby to rock any more.
When you want to scream over losing an important piece of paper because of someone else, remember that there are children who can't scream for the innocence that is repeatedly lost at the hands of others.
Today while I was in church I was struck by the fact that I was being moody over little frustrations in my life. Little things that go unresolved...that picture frame still isn't up, the recycling that I forgot to take out, the little guy's diaper contents squished into my clean pants requiring a last minute change of clothes.
Then I looked to my right.
There was a lady holding a new baby girl. This lady buried her first daughter at the age of two. She was choking on a rubber ball that they had a hold of but couldn't dislodged. She died the next day taking her little laugh and sparkle with her.
On my left was our new friend who has came from Africa. We asked him to sit with us today. Was it only last month that we were so happy that he had located his wife whom he hadn't seen in three years. As a result of custom in his culture, his wife's parents had taken his son and wife away from him because they no longer approved of his marriage. And after three years of searching he found them last month.
Was it only last week that he phoned us crying to say that his four year old son had just died of malaria and that he would never see his son's eyes sparkle or hear his laugh again?
On my right and on my left are two people who have known great sorrow.
And yet...they smile as we sing about the cross.
As we sing of the hope we have through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The picture frame is still not hung.
The recycling sits where it is.
The pants are in the wash.
And I am humbled on my knees.
In earnest for the sorrows that my brothers and sisters carry and marvelling at the sufficiency of God's grace.