I was talking with my sister on the phone the other day when she said something about being content – something about life being pretty great right now.
“Shhhhh!!” I cried – practically reaching my hand through the phone to cover her mouth, looking around nervously as I did so in case anyone might have overheard.
Then we laughed as I admitted my terrible fear that – emit so much as a tiny sigh of contentment, an offhanded mention of ease; and the fierce, dark wind of trial and difficulty will whip its blustery head about and come, train like -- whistles blowing and nostrils flaring -- furious and straight at you. (Though I suppose “flaring nostrils” aren’t really train-like. Bull like?)
“Maybe you have more trials than you think,” she offered, trying to calm me. “Some people seem to focus on their problems so much that it seems like their lives are full of misery. Maybe you are having trials, but just focusing on the positive things in life. I mean, you have six small kids to take care of, a busy church calling, a husband who is gone most of the time . . .”
“Oh,” I moaned, waving my hand dismissively, knowing there was no fooling anybody. “Heavenly Father knows I’m fine with all of that.”
And I am. Life is lovely. I love my full and wild home. I sometimes snap at my kids. I sometimes feel very stressed. I am, more often than I care to admit, slightly grumpy.
But I have friends who are dealing with such miserable and difficult things – things they are handling with strength and grace and unbelievable faith (along with inevitable moments of screams, fist pounding and tears). And, because the very nature of their trials is so private, they are doing all of this without the pats on the back, the praise, encouragement, and cheering support they deserve.
It feels unfair to have everything so bright just now. It is unfair. Life is for learning. And growing. And . . . testing. It makes me feel almost nervous, and definitely guilty. My home. My husband. My kids. My life. So happy.
Still, I know Heavenly Father appreciates gratitude. I know it pleases Him for me to go through life recognizing all this goodness – being extremely grateful for it. Somehow living with an attitude of, “just wait, you’ll get what misery’s coming for you” doesn’t seem quite right.
I forget that life isn’t just for the character defining moments of near-drowning. Life is also . . . sometimes . . . simply for enjoying.