“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
You must try to keep your problems in perspective. You’ve probably heard the saying: “I grumbled because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” In a Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy looks in and sees the family sitting around the table enjoying Thanksgiving dinner while he’s outside eating dog food. “How about that?” he thinks. “Everybody’s eating turkey today, but because I’m just a dog I get dog food.” Then he suddenly regains his perspective. “Of course, things could be worse — I could have been born a turkey!”
How big or how difficult our problem appears to be is often a matter of perspective. Most difficulties we face are pretty insignificant in the larger scheme of things. When a friend gets cancer or loses a loved one, we’re reminded of just how petty our issues are.
Author James Agee recalled how he once struck up a conversation with an impoverished elderly woman in the heart of Appalachia during the Great Depression. She lived in a tiny shack with dirt floors, no heat, and no indoor plumbing. “What would you do,” he asked, “if someone gave you some money to help you out?” The woman thought for a moment and answered, “I guess I’d give it to the poor.”
Realizing there are people around you who have much bigger problems than yours brings gratitude and perspective. Jesus told His disciples, “These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Heavenly Father, help me see my problems with the perspective of others. Thank You for overcoming the world and all problems. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.