Whenever we have a problem, whether large or small, the expression that “there is always someone worse off than you” can often be mentioned. Of course, it will always be true for everyone except for that poor soul who is at the bottom of the pile! However, it can be a way of inferring, without actually saying it, that we should count our blessings and not complain.
In December last year, my wife and I visited family in Thailand and, whilst we were there, we decided that my wife should stay on for a few more weeks to spend time with our two very young grandsons – and to help out with babysitting duties! I returned home in late December, on my own, to find our home flooded with water. We had had two different leaks in the extremely cold weather that the UK had been experiencing at that time, and many others had suffered the same fate! I also had had quite a fall, either bruising or cracking some ribs. There were other problems too that I was experiencing and dealing with, and I don’t always count it joy, as we are admonished, when such a profusion of events pile up!
My insurance company sorted out accommodation for me, and whilst I was feeling sorry for myself at the discouraging turn of events, an employee at the hotel where I was temporarily staying told me that he was going to the hospital that afternoon, as he was in pain from the bowel cancer that he was suffering from. He was very positive about fighting that dreaded disease but also mentioned that, not long ago, his wife had been in a car accident where she had lost the lower part of one of her legs.
Oops. I was being taught a lesson by a non-church member who, at that particular moment, was much more positive than I was, and his problems were far greater than mine. Indeed, he and his wife were certainly much worse off than I was.
The timing was perfect. It shook me up. How many times have those from outside the church taught us lessons when we should have known better? I would hazard a guess that, at times, we have all fallen short in this area! It was time to do better and, hopefully, from that moment on, I improved. We can all learn from others, and non-church members can be helpful, at times, in assisting us to see our faults and what we need to do. There is always someone worse off!