1. Yet another car trip with the kids all arguing in the car.
2. Our increasingly worn house, and not being able to fix it.
3. The weeds in the garden, and not having time to pull them out.
4. The way all the washing never seems to get folded and put away at once.
5. When I've just done 3 loads of washing, then I realise someone has wet their bed...again.
6. Insects that want to share our life and won't take "no" for an answer.
7. Children who insist it's not their turn or their fault or their responsibility.
8. Dirt, dust, grime, and the way it builds up when you're not looking - just after you've cleaned.
9. Clutter, and the way it builds up - just after you've tidied.
10. Illness and tiredness (yep, I know that's two).
So why did I post this jolly little list (against my better judgement, I might add, especially since God tells us not to mutter and complain - Phil 2:14-16 - and I know that there are millions of people with real problems)? For a couple of reasons:
- my single friend reminded me that sometimes it's good to hear life isn't always greener on the other of the fence
- we all struggle with the dragging, repetitive, annoying problems of life - with drudgery, futility and tiredness - and we need to know how to deal with it.
So how do we deal with it? Badly, if you're me! But it helps me to remember this is just how life is on this side of the Fall: thorny and thistly (Gen 3:18). It helps to realise I'm under attack, to fight the temptation to discontent and despair, and to cast my cares on God (Jam 4:7, 1 Pet 5:7). It helps to talk to friends who know what I'm going through, and to receive comfort and prayer (2 Cor 1:3-4). And in the back of my mind there's a few Bible verses that get me through:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:12-13)
...we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor :16-18)
Heavenly Father, when I'm facing the small annoyances of life, help me to trust you, to stay thankful and faithful, to endure patiently, and to set my hope on heaven. Amen.
image is by the Italian voice from flickr