One Thing that Changes Everything

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
 {1 Thessalonians 5:6-8}

 I’m sick. Not severely—it’s just that nagging, barking cough that comes only when I already have too much on my plate. It’s an inconvenience more than anything.

I’m angry. After a week of the aforementioned hacking, my friends have forced strongly urged me to visit the doctor. Except I don’t have time to go to the doctor.

I’m rejected. The lady with medicine curtly informed me: “We’ll need another hour to fill this prescription.” She didn’t even look at me when she spoke—instead she fiddled with a computer screen while I nervously eyed the frigid frames balancing precariously at the edge of her nose.

I’m helpless. All of the things that I needed to do—all of the deadlines and studying for exams, the tending to friendships and family matters—all of those things will to have to wait. Because right now I’m grumbling my car in the CVS parking lot, coughing and useless.

I’m trapped. Seething because I’m also missing my lunch break with friends, I resolve to sit still and watch the cars hypnotically zip by. Pushing back tears of frustration, the vehicles become blurbs of bodiless colors.

Then suddenly, as if one of those blurry cars had gone rogue and mashed my motionless car, I realized that this unfortunate turn of events actually unveiled a reason to rejoice!

Yes, I can be glad. Because it occurred to me that all the bothersome parts of this day were the things that were not captive under my tight grip. I’m a control freak!

Like when I was sitting in a line of idle cars and wanted to jump out and manually push them all forward.

Like when the doctor told me I could pay the huge fee or else drive four hours home to my regular practitioner, and I seriously considered the latter.

Like when this whole time I could have been finishing my real to-do list, but instead I was stuck, waiting, coughing. And it is here that I became acutely aware of my weaknesses and limitations, and I realized how grateful I am that my God has none.

 Where I fall short, He is far more than enough.

What I can’t control, He holds in the palm of His hand.

When I am weak, He is my strength and my defender.

And He is always working for His glory and my good.

 These silly, miniature trials have allowed me to see all the wonderful parts of this life and this blessing-filled day I’ve been neglecting to see.

I’m safe. The sky is a rich blue—a February rarity—and I don’t have pneumonia.

I’m cherished. My friends and family fiercely long for my healing; their insistence on my going to the doctor is only an expression of their deep care for me.

I’m free. I live in a place where medicine is easily-accessible—a rarity for the majority of the world.

I’m empowered. Because the Spirit of the Living God is dwelling inside me, so it is He who lives in me who is doing the useful stuff. Not me.

And just maybe, God was reminding me that my life is more than just the things that I need to get done.

It all hinges on my perspective.

Yes, perspective is that one thing that changes everything.

When I’m craving to be in control, I’ll remember that the Creator of time is also the Maker of me, so I will learn to gladly entrust my time and my deadlines to him.


Through His Spirit, let us learn to submit to the reality that these present, mazy seasons of our lives are only trivial in light of the big picture.