When Hard Looks Different

I’d like to believe that I’m fully equipped to see outside of my own problems to those of hurting folks around me. But, like any other human….life can blind me to the needs of those caught up in catastrophe and hold me hostage inside my own dang issues!

Forgive me, Lord.

I had a situation recently with a student that opened my eyes to just how wrapped up I can get in my own troubles. I won’t go into ALL OF THE details but the student was missing a chair at her desk and instead of walking 4 steps to the left and picking one up (they had simply been scooted down a bit) she stood there like a statue. I began class and noticed her still standing while everyone else sat ready to go. When I questioned her what she was doing she answered that she didn’t have a chair.

Something deep inside me bubbled with frustration, not against her but regarding my own crappy troubles. How I wished my problems were that simple. I knew instantly that much of what I’m going through could be viewed by someone else as no big deal. For me, it feels monumental. Everything I know as normal is gone. Not one single thing is the same in my life, except for Christ. He has remained steadfast and gracious. The rest, crazy…mixed-up and outrageous! Making no sense.

I asked her to think how she could solve her problem. We laughed about it after a few minutes but I admitted to her my feelings of wishing my problems were so easy to solve. Life is hard. My hard may not look like yours but that doesn’t mean yours isn’t painful and treacherous. Everyone who experiences trials deals with them in their own unique way. You may find unemployment as a break or a fresh start where I have reached the point of insanity and struggle to get out of bed every day.

My hard is not yours. Aren’t you glad?

Next time I see someone hurting, I won’t compare what they are struggling with to mine. There is no way to measure the intensity for one over another. I don’t want to negate what someone else feels just because I’m buried deep under a blanket of distress.

What’s hard for you right now?

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