Sometimes I feel guilty.
My life is good. I have a comfortable life. I have enjoyed the company of a wonderful wife for 37 years, who for whatever reason, also enjoys my company. We have a wonderful home, good friends we eat with every Friday night, and a church family that appears to enjoy each other. I look forward to going to work every day because I have job I enjoy with a salary that meets our needs.
I even think my health is good. Sure, I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for 40 years, but I’ve never had any serious setbacks because of it. And I’ve got a shoulder that gives me fits partially due to a bicycle accident ten years ago and a medical condition called aging. I’m up to four surgeries and procedures related to this, but it’s not so debilitating that I can’t function or enjoy life. My health is not perfect, but my health needs are truly minor.
Finally, there’s the fact that, as a follower of Christ, I have not faced overt persecution. Any “problems” I have are truly first-world problems. (“My cell phone’s battery is dead! Woe is me!”)
I can change that tune if I compare myself to the right people. For 22 years, we lived in Williamson County in middle Tennessee, the 7th richest county in the United States. (It would’ve probably been the 5th wealthiest if we didn’t live there and pull the average down.) As my wife and I drove around, we’d see the new subdivisions going up, advertising homes “beginning at $400,000.” And those were the starter neighborhoods. All of the sudden, our home—which I liked up until five minutes earlier—seemed insignificant.
We’d meet couples buying their first home. “It’s only 2700 square feet, but we like it.” Part of me wanted to sarcastically retort, ” Bless you. I hope you two can scrap by with only 2700 square feet.” Another part of me would do a self-evaluation: What’s wrong with me? Why do so many people seem to have it so much better?
I determined it is unnecessary and unhealthy to make such comparisons. Besides, are they really any better off than me?
Compared to the rest of the world, I am wealthy. According to the Foundation for Economic Education, the poorest 20% of Americans live better than the national average of people in other affluent countries. [Source] And that’s compared to affluent countries! When I look at third-world countries, my life is incredibly rich!
With all this blessing, I have to ask, “Why me?” It’s common when we are going through a difficult time to ask that question. Yet as I sit in my wonderful life, I express both thanks and wonder. “Why me?”
Thank You, Lord, for the blessings and joys You’ve brought into my life. I do not deserve these things, but in Your grace, You bestow them anyway. But far more than the blessings, I am thankful for You in my life. The blessings are meaningless without You.
Lord, You are the blessing.
May I ever live in “praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One” (Eph. 1:6).
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