Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reflections on a Bad Attitude

Here I am. In my house. On the internet.

That means we have power again.

It really is a miracle. Yesterday we talked to someone we know who is high up with the power company, and he said that the power company is so completely in debt that it could be days....weeks....before we got power again.

So we contacted a friend who is in the States for this month, and they said we could stay in their house. Yesterday afternoon we collected up a week's worth of clothes, food, and toys and moved it all over to the friend's house. So, of course, we were shocked when this morning we received a text message from our night guard that the power was back on.

I have concluded that the last four days were just plain rotten. No power=suffocating heat, spoiling food, little sleep, dark house. Add on top of that, Josiah getting a fever and throwing up, me getting a fever and not feeling great, Gil's jetlag, and Gil working like a dog for the last 3 days to get his report cards done by today, since he had spent the last two weeks in the States. Gil was sleeping at school because the house was too hot and I was sleeping at home, which I accomplished by sticking my head under the shower every few hours and dripping back to bed.

Just plain rotten days. In fact, for the first time in four years, I told Gil, "I've had it! I want to go back to the States."

Ha. Ha. HA.

As if people in the States never have bad days. I can hear you chuckling at me right now.

So. How did God speak to me these four days?

1. I taught Grace Philippians 2:14 a couple weeks ago, and that silly girl just keeps bringing it up. "Do everything without complaining or arguing." Yeah, yeah, okay. Do you have to keep reminding me?

2. A couple weeks ago, Gil preached a great sermon--as always--on Philippians 1:21. "To live is Christ; to die is gain." Am I living for comfort? Is that really the purpose of my life? Is that why I am here in Tanzania? If I am truly living for Christ, nothing else in life should matter much.

3. A song from the "Sovereign Grace" kids' album:
When I don't get to have my own way
I will trust in you
For you know what is best
When tears begin to run down my face
I will trust in you
For you are good, you are good

Fantastic album, by the way. Buy it even if you don't have kids.

4. An article by John Piper in WORLD Magazine--which you should also buy.

His article was about the election, but applicable to all aspects of life.
"Let those who mourn do so as though they were not mourning. Our losses do not incapacitate us. They do not blind us to the truth that for Christians the best is always yet to come. Always. The Lord gives and takes away. But He remains. Let those who rejoice do so as though they were not rejoicing. Christians rejoice in a thousand created things. But none of them satisfies the soul. Even the surest sights of glory now are in a mirror dimly. Such delights will soon be as though they were not. They will be replaced by a vastly better joy."

I need to hold much more loosely to the things of this world. None of this matters--not comfort, not water or electricity, not Christmas, not even husband or children--in light of the surpassing greatness of Christ.

So I am thankful. I wish I could say that I know I will handle it better 'next time'--since I know there will be one--but I look forward to what He will teach me then too.

And now I am feeling very humbled by our electricity. I definitely don't deserve it.

Oh! I also have a very clean, sparkly, shiny refrigerator that hasn't looked this good in two years. Nothing like no power for 4 days for a great opportunity to clean the fridge. Mmmm....makes me happy when I look at it.
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