We are a nation of fretters, whiners and anxious human beings. I know because I’m one of them. It doesn’t matter whether we are fretting over something major, or someone jumping line at the grocery store, not having enough money for everything we want, the price of gas or someone cutting us off in traffic. We whine and fret; we get upset or distressed about many things.
It reminds me of the children of Israel on their march to the Promised Land. Now, I’ll grant you, it was a long way, but hey, they did bring it on themselves by their disobedience and their lack of trust.
God spared their families from the death angel, caused the Egyptians to ply them with all types of treasures, parted the sea so they could cross on dry land, gave them free food, and shoes that never wore out. And, let’s not forget the nightlight so they could see where they were going.
After all this, they looked longingly back to Egypt—to slavery. For what? Could it be onions and melons? Then, they decided they were tired of the manna and wanted meat. God gave them quail, but he punished them for their whining.
Perhaps, we are quick to jump all over the Israelites for being upset about insignificant matters. But what about us? Aren’t we just like them?
My friend Shirley purchased a lovely pair of eyeglasses from a local Chinese optometrist. After three months, the stem broke. She went back to the store, and the conversation went something like:
“I’m very upset!”
“Why you upset?”
“I’ve only had these glasses three months, and look, they are already broke.”
“Tsunami—get upset! House burn down—get upset! Cancer—get upset! Eyeglasses break—no get upset. I fix. You get back. No get upset!”
There are times when we need to put things in perspective. What should we allow ourselves to fret and “get upset” about? God knows our needs and circumstances better than we do ourselves. Many times He uses what we think is upsetting to cause us to turn to Him in prayer or to soften our hearts toward others. I think I need to take a lesson from the Chinese optometrist –“No Get Upset.” What about you?
“”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV