I sat in the hospital waiting room one day. Although I was there for a while, I was not at all impatient. In the chaotic rush of life as a working mom, getting an opportunity to sit and read my book was actually a rare treat.
A couple who were sitting next to me had clearly been waiting most of the day and their impatience was growing. It sounded like they were waiting for the results of a scan to determine whether their son had a broken arm or not. They were not allowed in the ward until visiting hours and couldn’t seem to get any new information.
As the husband complained about everything from the speed of the service to the competence of the staff, the wife sat and listened and didn’t say too much in response. Finally there was silence and the waiting continued a little more. And then she spoke.
“There are many people who are never going to get up and leave this hospital. We can be grateful for so much.”
Her words were soft and almost spoken to herself, but they brought me great encouragement. She didn’t argue or disrespect her husband in anyway, and yet she was able to voice an important reminder to him.
I thought about what she said and the whole concept of choosing to be thankful in all our circumstances by remembering that there is always someone worse off than us. But my heart was so sad for that other person. What does the person who really suffers the most have to be thankful about?
And then I remembered Paul.
“But he said to me,Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Paul’s perspective always encourages me. It’s true that we need to remember to be thankful in all circumstances and to try and weigh up our hurts and frustrations in terms of a broken bone or a terminal illness. But irrespective of the size of the trial, God’s Grace will be sufficient. His power will rest on us in our weaknesses if we only believe.