Tomorrow is the first day of school. For the last two weeks leading up to this big day, we have been busy with new friends and old; we have celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary; Toby’s been studying non-stop for his Greek qualifying test which is this Friday. The boys have had two asthma attacks – one expected, one not; we’ve had problems getting immunization records; I’ve had a daily to-do list that has included things like check on policy changes, call the speech therapist, fill out the health insurance applications, notarize the promissory notes, visit the pediatrician, buy school supplies, etc. While things like groceries, laundry, dishes, and cleaning don’t even make it to the list. And as if there wasn’t enough icing on the cake, early this morning, Josiah threw up seven times – the day before his first day at his new school. The day he should have been able to meet his teacher and see his classroom.
One thing that seems to keep my perspective from spiraling out of control is a little “grounding phrase” that my friend and I use in times like these. We usually sum up each other’s complaints with the simple phrase: “Hey, but at least it’s not cancer.” It’s like saying, “It’s not as bad as you think it is.” Or it’s like looking at a glass have empty and having your friend remind you that, “Hey, at least the part that’s full is not empty.”
No matter how frustrating life is, no matter what devastation occurs, no matter what thorn in the flesh you deal with, God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He promises that His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). He promises that we can cry out to Him in our times of need and He will hear our prayers (Psalm 55:17; Psalm 116:1). God wants us to come immediately to Him, in every situation – whether good or bad, mountain or mole hill, stomach flu or cancer.
“I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.” ~Hosea 14:8