Thankfulness vs. First World Problems


I’ve been mulling over this post for a while and have finally decided to write it. I really feel like God wants me to work right now on being thankful in times of trouble. Last week in church the sermon touched on being Paul being thankful while in prison and this week the pastor mentioned man who was paraplegic who said he would only get to praise God in this way right now since he would have a new body in Heaven. That was a “whoa” moment for me. There’s some dedication right now and also a call for me. I only have this opportunity to praise God with all my difficulties now because once I’m out of this world, difficulties will pass. Therefore, give Him the glory now instead of waiting.

Easier said than done.

It’s hard to praise God and be thankful when things are hard, when you’re going through a rough time, and when you are in a lot of pain (whether emotional, spiritual, or physical). Last week I went through a difficult time and in the hardest moment of that time was in the car on my way to work. I had on KLove (the Christian radio station) and a song came on (not sure which one it is) but it repeats over and over again, “And I’m breathing in Your grace and breathing out Your praise.” And I decided to just start doing that. I breathed in, asking for God’s grace and breathed out, thanking Him for my situation (even though I hated the situation). I did that way longer than the song lasted and found that it helped me feel better about the situation.

I’ve noticed I also have trouble being thankful even when things aren’t that bad, when, in fact, they are better than most people have it. I’ve heard those things called “First World Problems,’ so I thought I’d share some thoughts/statements I’ve made lately and later realized have been really stupid to complain about. So, here’s some “first world problems” I’ve had lately and my responses to them:

1. My Word with Friends game broke and I lost all my games in progress! (Ummm…ok, you can start new games, but really there are people starving and you are complaining about your smart phone…and not even that you can’t call someone, but your games!)

2. I can’t finish the food on my plate because I ate too much. (Too much food, not really a problem)

3. I can’t find my Netflix DVD. I might have to pay for it!

4. I have too many checks in my wallet right now. (haha, this is not really a problem. A blessing, not a curse)

5. I have to scrape ice off my car. (Response, I have a car or any kind of mode of transportation. That’s better than a lot of people.)

6. I have to work even though it’s snowing. (I am complaining because I want to stay home and still get paid. Reality check, I have a job and only live 2 miles from work. Not the end of the world.

7. This desk I bought for my new sewing machine won’t fit into the trunk of my hybrid car…or in the trunk of my husband’s car. (This doesn’t even really need a response. Such a first world problem. Not one but two cars! And I’m complaining!)

8. My shows are in reruns this week and I can’t find anything to watch on Netflix. (shakes head)

 

My point with noting these “first world problems” of mine is that we all do it. We all get into times of complaining when really we have a lot to be thankful for, even when things aren’t going great. I hope this helps you put things in perspective and reminds you to be grateful for what you have today.

In fact, I would love to hear some thing(s) you are grateful for below! Comments, please!

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I am thankful for my dog, Oso!

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6 thoughts on “Thankfulness vs. First World Problems

  1. There are so many things to be full of thanks about! Warm home, comfy blankets, my snuggly dog, healthy and tasty food…. But most of all, I am full of thankfulness for my family. My Mom just died on Jan 23rd, and though it is a loss, it is also a time of rejoicing that her pain here is over and that she is now dancing and singing in God’s presence. (Mom was 86 and very much ready to go.)

    Since Mom’s death, I have been reflecting on my life (especially as it intersected hers), Mom’s life, and just all sorts of things about our nuclear and extended family. Remembering so many good things and as an adult reaching an understanding of certain things I didn’t understand well as a child… I am truly, truly blessed and thankful to have the parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and so forth that I have.

    I am also very thankful that Lynn, Jeannette and I (we three sisters) were able to sing at Mom’s memorial service. It was a blessing to us, and a number of people said they hear our Mom singing with us and/or through our voices.

    Love you, Mom.

    • Today Dad looked through the picture boards and the notes Lynn, Gary and I wrote in remembrance of Mom. He was very touched. He is also so thankful that she is no longer in pain and is in heaven where she is rejoicing and free from pain. He and I are both so thankful that I am able to be here with him to help him through this time. It would be so much harder for him if he was dealing with the loss alone. But it is wonderful to know that she is in heaven in a pain free body with many of our relatives and we will join her one day.

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