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  • Writer's pictureDevin Roush

It Could Always Be Worse

One of the things I can still hear my late grandmother saying (clear as day) is, “it could always be worse.” I would often go to my grandmother with problems I was having to seek her advice and hear words of comfort and encouragement. She was always good at helping me see the big picture, reminding me to stay focused on what I could control and leave the rest in God’s more than capable hands. Many of these conversations would end with that gentle reminder: “it could always be worse!”

This year has posed a great number of challenges. It seems that, for many, 2020 has delivered nothing but bad news. It is not without a sense of irony that, at the beginning of this year, many preachers the world over had made plans to use 2020 as a springboard to talk about the concept of obtaining perfect spiritual vision. Clearly (pun intended) God has reminded us that we have no idea what tomorrow holds and that we must walk by faith and not by sight! (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7)

It is a healthy exercise to think about how our situation could be worse. It helps guide us away from despair and back to a state of thanksgiving. (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:8; Philippians 4:4)

A man was driving his old run-down car to work and pulled up next to a woman driving a brand-new sports car at a red light. “Man,” he thought to himself, “wouldn’t it be nice to have a car like that instead of this old thing.” Beside them, on the sidewalk, a young boy was admiring the man’s rusty ride. “I sure wish I were old enough to drive,” he said to himself, “even that old car would give me so much more freedom than this silly bike!” A homeless man was also passing by. He was not looking at either car, but rather at the boy’s bike. “I sure wish I had the money to buy myself a bike,” he thought, “then I wouldn’t have to walk everywhere.” Up above, in a nearby apartment window, a young disabled girl sat watching the scene below from her wheelchair. She observed the homeless man walking down the sidewalk. “I sure wish I could walk,” she said sadly.

The story above is not original to this author, but nicely illustrates our point. Perspective is important in life. Even though we might not have everything, we have a lot; often much more than we realize! In fact, if we are secure in Christ (cf. Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:27), we really do have it all! There is nothing more valuable than your soul’s salvation! (cf. Matthew 16:26)

One of the difficulties we, as human beings, have is worrying about tomorrow. We often make bad situations worse (at least in our minds) by thinking, “what next!?” In other words, we start thinking about how much worse a situation could become instead of thinking about how much it could improve through trust in “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) Things might get worse tomorrow, yes, but, for today, we must be grateful that they are not and learn to focus on doing our best with our current circumstances. Jesus said, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)

“Things could always be worse.”

“But what if they do get worse!?”

“Cross that bridge when and if you come to it. For now, devote your energy to prayer and doing the good that is in your power to do!” (cf. Philippians 4:6-7; Ecclesiastes 9:10)

No matter where you are today or what you have endured this year, the truth is, it could always be worse. Count your blessings. Name them one by one. You will run out of energy before you run out of blessings to count! Whatever you do, do NOT stop living. Do not let fear or difficulty drive you from your purpose. To live is Christ! (cf. Philippians 1:21) Keep your helmet on, soldiers! This is the Way! (cf. Ephesians 6:17; John 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14)

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