Putting Life’s Frustrations Into Perspective
My husband and I were driving home from a weekend away, and we needed groceries.
We decided to stop off at an Aldi along the way.
Somewhere in the mix of shopping and loading the van, I managed to lose my wallet. I didn’t realize it was gone until we arrived at home.
After sending my sister on a thorough recognizance mission of Aldi and its surrounding strip mall the next day, and after filing a police report and going again myself, I had given it up for lost.
This included my iPhone (with dead battery that hasn’t been charged), my ID, credit cards and all that, a couple of gift cards… oh, and all the birthday and Christmas money I had saved up from the past two years. $230 in cash. Not to mention my cheerful Vera Bradly wallet.
Why all that cash you wonder? Well, we were finally ready to buy patio furniture. We had been this close to spending that money the day before at Menards, but we *wisely* decided not to get anxious and to bide our time for a better deal.
Yes, it is disappointing to lose all this.
But at the same time, it’s okay. There’s nothing written anywhere that says I deserve an iPhone or a stress-free week or patio furniture.
I’m realizing that my trip to Guatemala this Spring impacted me more than I knew.
While I was there, I saw countless homes with nothing but cinderblock walls, dirt courtyards, holes for windows, plastic chairs for furniture, and walls and floors adorned with noticeably sparse and tattered decorations. The beds were hard, and the pillows were thin. The livestock were generally emaciated. And yet, these people knew the abundance of Christ. They knew the power of the Holy Spirit. They were filled with an overflow of joy and love.
The children we worked with were curious about the United States. Since I spoke some Spanish, I tried to tell them what our country was like.
But honestly, we sounded so spoiled, I couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed.
As I explained that most homes have air conditioning, the children’s eyes widened and their mouths gaped. The boy on the far right, Edgar, grabbed his heart in shock and exclaimed, “Qué rico!” (How rich!)
So, there you have it. If you have air conditioning (not to mention grass or any ground covering), you are downright rich.
These children, on the other hand, had been waiting two long years just to get access to safe drinking water in their community
All of these experiences and observations position me to see the loss of my wallet as nothing more than a chance to trust God. Honestly, emotion hasn’t really entered in to this equation. We were not depending on this money to feed our family, and regardless, I know that God will provide.
This wallet represents the useful-yet-frivolous things in my life, of which there are many.
The truth is, the things of this world are passing away. They simply don’t matter. So, I’m learning to hold everything loosely, and to watch and see what the Lord will do. It’s hard to get too worried about it when I know that God is in control and that He is good.
God is always working… not to lavish us with money and possessions, but to make us more like Him.
So, this week I made phone calls, visited the license bureau, stopped in at the bank, accepted the fact that we probably won’t get patio furniture any time soon, and worked on walking in faith.
Before I even had time to think about replacing my phone, three different relations offered me their old ones.
It’s fun to trust God and watch Him work it all out.
Tell me, how are you exercising perspective and trust in your life?
*UPDATE! After I composed this post, my wallet was found! It showed up in the mail. The return address section read,
God bless you!
How cool is that?!
Unfortunately someone else had already cleaned out all the cash before this sweet person spent his/her own money to send this to me.
It is just so fun to see what God will do! Praise Him for His good provisions.
An important reminder
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Hi Katie! Thanks so much for your blog. God, has also been taking my husband and me on a journey of “the simpler life” for the last three years. What a freedom comes when the desire for things of this world – and keeping up with the Joneses – becomes so much less important! Thank you for sharing your story and your lesson. I must admit that my favorite part was that when your wallet was returned – after you’d come to accept that it and it’s contents were gone and that was OK – was THE RETURN ADDRESS!! It clearly showed that God was in control of every detail and circumstance…and has a sweet, amazing and loving provision and sense of humor!! When I think of His orchestration to detail….to where the person who took your money had to leave your wallet – in a place that this Believer would find it, and that it was a person as you mentioned so sweetly spent their own money to return it to you. And most of all, put THAT return address on it! It did indeed come back to you directly from Heaven itself! Our God is so good! Indeed nothing comes into our life that hasn’t gone through His filter of love to get there. And as we learn to trust him in ALL circumstances, in ALL trials and tribulations (as we are promised to have in 1Peter 4:12), then growing and yielding to the Holy Spirit that dwells within us – that we might more and more respond with a godly attitude – becomes easier and easier over time. That is the amazing part of the Exchanged Life – Him living His life through us! As has been said: “Christ died to give His life for us, that He might give His life to us, that He might live His life through us.”Thanks again Katie, and I look forward to reading more on your journey with the Lord and your family!
Amen, amen, amen!! Yes! Thank you Monica!