For a few years we lived with my mother-in-law on her 72 acres here in Montana, in a beautiful, wooded placed we called The Hill. On that hill was a dirt road, and on that road was a metal bar that swung closed as a gate. For years my husband and his family drove their cars underneath that gate without opening it. I drove under it for years without problem, too.
Until the day they graded the dirt road, which raised it ever so slightly.
Let me ask you this. If you scraped a metal bar across half of the roof of your car, would you then drive forward or backward?
How do we gauge where we are on the road? Low enough to go under? Too high? I was talking with someone whose friend seemed to have it so easy –everything just handed to her. Hard not to be spiteful and a little jealous. She saw so many people in a better situation than she was in.
Then I opened a Samaritan’s Purse newsletter that informed about the crisis in the Sudan. Genocide forcing people into caves and refuge camps. Children with all their bones showing through their backs. People eating bugs and tree bark to try to stay alive.
I made Tuna Helper for dinner last night, which made me feel like a complete failure in the kitchen again. I was apologizing to my kids for fixing them something out of a box, but my daughter told me about this book she’s reading –learning about kids whose parents have a gambling problem and how the kids often are given a soda and some chips and left at home alone while their parents sit in front of slot machines.
How do we gauge where we are?
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Thankfulness. Instead of looking up at what’s above us, we look down to what could be were it not for the goodness of God. We gauge where we are by whether we feel bitter because of someone higher or compassion because of someone lower.
Learn from me the lesson of the bar. You may be a little higher than you think you are.