by Christie Browning
I shared in my last post that my cellphone quit working Monday. It was a day like any other... I was out and about running errands, Musha (my fluffy puppy and sidekick) was in the passenger's seat and we were enjoying the unseasonably warm day.
And then it happened. It was like someone had blown my house down, kicked me in the gut and ran off with my dog... I felt sick. My phone had stopped working. I was so upset and I responded out of panic. I went to the local phone retailer and was rather snippy with the little gal behind the counter. BUT MY PHONE HAD STOPPED WORKING! I was cut off from the world... what did she expect! When there were no solutions offered, I went from frustrated, to panicked, to depressed. So I took Musha and myself home to pout.
Yes, I was a bit over dramatic about the whole day. But it had been a rough day to start. The cellphone quitting was salt in the wound. And much like Scarlet O'Hara, the southern damsel from "Gone With The Wind," I chose to think about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, I drove to Fort Wayne to take care of the errands I was just to upset to deal with the day before. However, added to my list was a trip to the Verizon store. As I started that way, I literally prayed out loud:
"God, I seriously need you to work a miracle here. I have no idea how we can pay to replace this phone and I don't know how we will function without one."
Walking into the store, I had cooled down and was able to even smile at the guy sporting his red Verizon shirt and holding his gadget-y tablet thing at the door. It was a 5 minute visit. In those brief minutes, he ordered me a replacement phone, no charge. I didn't even have to beg... I was prepared to. Thankfully, my miracle came through and a phone is traveling to my door as I type.
Looking back on this week, here's a few lessons I had to learn:
There are greater problems in the world than a non-working cellphone.
Yes. I know. It's true. Although it seemed like my world came to an end Monday, it was nothing compared to the mass shootings, poverty, human trafficking, job loss and death many faced on that Monday. A phone is the least of their concerns... and it should be mine.
I'm thankful God provided, but really?
"God, please provide me a cellphone," was the desperate plea I chose to make to the Father? Again, with all the real tragedies in the world... it's my nonworking cellphone that makes me cry out? Like a child running to her father to fix her broken dolly... I chose to bang on the Throne Room doors and stomp up to the King, begging for him to fix it all. Really? Does that seem somewhat childish and naive to anyone else? But thankfully God is big enough to care about all of our concerns no matter how they compare and measure up.
I feel blessed, but do I even know what that truly means?
I wanted to cry when that college kid told me he was ordering me a replacement phone. I felt blessed. But when we look at the Bible, God's definition of "blessings" is not all miracles and wonder-working wish granting. In fact, when Jesus speaks the Beatitudes (Matthew 5 and Luke 6) He says it's the ones who are impoverished, sad, meek, and persecuted who are blessed. To me, that feels like the opposite of being blessed. But blessing comes in the promise of Kingdom gifts. Those who mourn receive comfort, those who are persecuted receive the kingdom, and so on.
Attitude is connected to our perspective. If our perspective is not focused on earthly conveniences and trivial matters, our joy - or positive attitude - is a whole lot easier to achieve. Whether we feel blessed or not depends on our perspective and choosing to live God's way, appreciating his long-term, eternal gifts.