Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BLESSED (03/07/19)
- TITLE: Worst of Times
By Rachel Burkum
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Dissatisfaction whispered in my ear, “Why can’t life be different?”
Payday wasn’t for another few days, but my car needed gas. It looked like I’d have to forgo the luxury of a pack of gum and that movie I’d wanted to see. Another sigh surfaced.
Resentment whispered, “Can’t you trade this life for someone else’s?”
Depression hid around the corner as I paid my monthly bills. I could feel him waiting to pounce. Or perhaps I’d already beckoned him near. It didn’t matter though. Happiness wouldn’t keep the water and electricity on anyway.
Complaint whispered, “Don’t you wish you could be somewhere else?”
I had to decline going out with friends. Even though I pasted on a smile, I felt embarrassed, and I came up with a more acceptable excuse to stay home. After all, my finances weren’t their problem. Besides, being alone wasn’t so bad.
Discontent whispered, “Why didn’t things turn out differently?”
I waited impatiently for another job to come in, but the dry spell persisted. Didn’t God know I needed to eat? Didn’t He know my shoes were wearing out? That my bills wouldn’t pay themselves?
Envy whispered, “Don’t you wish you had your neighbor’s income?”
I was consorting with Unhappiness, when a new voice whispered in my ear. Joy had been hiding in the shadows. “Remember when you ran out of food, and someone helped you out?”
I had to admit, that had given me such a warm feeling. I listened harder. Was that Contentment now, too?
“Remember when you had to pay for gas, but a friend ended up treating you to that movie anyway?”
Okay, that had been a fun day, and letting someone pamper me had made me feel special.
The voices had come together now. Louder. Impossible to ignore. “Remember when you had to stay home, but someone called and you laughed until your sides hurt? Remember when you were out of work, but suddenly you had more than you could handle? Remember when your furnace broke, but a friend showed up at the door to help? Remember when you thanked God for your family? Remember when someone said they valued you? Remember how it felt when you were able to share God’s love with someone worse off than yourself? Remember when relying on faith day to day was a thrill? Remember?”
I did remember. And I wept.
My life was hard, but I was loved. Days were tough, but I was alive. I fought depression, but I knew God was there. My bank account was all but empty, but my needs were met. I felt alone, but I woke up with the sun each day, granted one more opportunity to praise, not complain.
My cupboards were bare. And I laughed. For as it turned out, only in the worst of times did I recognize how very much my life had been blessed.
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