Especially when the aforementioned “leak” meant that a lot of water was pouring into my carpeted basement due to a failing hot water heater.
Over the last few months, I’ve had a seemingly endless stream (no pun intended) of unexpected home repairs. And this was just one more.
Every towel in the house was commandeered to begin soaking up the water. Beach towels, hand towels, bath towels. Unfortunately, the water exceeded the absorption capability of my entire towel supply.
As the water heater was being drained, I was attempting to empty the catch basin around the water heater into a bucket, cup by cup.
And I was complaining. Grumbling. Feeling very sorry for myself.
“Why can’t I get a break from these repairs? Will this never end?”
I was muttering every verse of “Poor Me.”
Suddenly, a convicting memory flashed through my mind. I remembered a long walk down a dirt road in Uganda just four years before.
I remembered seeing children…small children…walking for miles, heavy laden with yellow, 5-gallon “jerry cans” so that their families could have fresh drinking water.
And I wondered what those children and their families would think of my dilemma. I was whining because fresh water was pouring out into my basement.
Fresh water that normally was readily available from the faucet or in a hot shower.
Oh, the countless blessings that I take for granted.
Fresh water. Hot water. Fruits. Vegetables. Heat. Air conditioning. Legs that can walk and skip and run. Eyes that can see the faces of those I love. Ears that can hear the music of birds or of a favorite song.
So incredibly blessed. And sometimes, so oblivious to the blessings.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to become preoccupied with the frustrations of “first-world problems” and lose sight of the blessings that underlie the problems.
At this season of Thanksgiving, I certainly want to thank God for the tremendous, immeasurable ways that He has blessed my life. But I also want to be thankful for the times of frustration and for the challenging times.
If I didn’t have a hot water heater, it would never leak. If I didn’t have a car, I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic. Adversity builds our character. And material blessings often spawn frustrations.
As with so much of life, it’s a matter of perspective.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. And hoping that you, too, will resolve to have an attitude of gratitude even amidst life’s frustrations. Keep looking, and you’ll often find blessings underneath.