We are living in an overly hyperbolic society. We show with our every day vocabulary that we are out of touch with the needs and daily struggles of 99% of the world. We say things like, “I’m starving,” when what we really mean is “I’m not full anymore.” We say “I’m so stressed out!” when what we really mean is “I don’t have all the conveniences I normally do.” We say, “That’s the worst thing ever!” when we really have been temporarily set back.
We really don’t know what these things really mean and stand for, but I wish we did. I wish we really knew what it was like to be on the verge of starving, so that we would appreciate every meal. We would really mean it when we prayed a thanks over our food. I wish we knew what real stress was, like constantly being threatened by an oppressive government or marauding soldiers, so that when we had a moment of peace we would be truly grateful for it. We’d spend less time complaining, less time annoyed, and less time on our smart phones.
One of my best friends died recently, and I’ve watched the shockwaves of it affect the entire community, especially his family. It has really given new meaning to the phrase “worst thing ever,” because I now know what that looks like. I’m less flippant about life now. I’m less concerned about minor annoyances. I’m realizing how little of what we hold in high regard is of much import.
When we finally see “the worst thing ever,” which is what most of the world faces on a daily basis, we understand that most of us haven’t faced our own “worst thing ever” yet. What will you do what that day comes? To whom will you turn? How will you respond and cope? Will you fall apart, cloister yourself, and descend into darkness? Will your entire personality change, so that you become angry, bitter, and resenting? Or in your darkest hour, will you “lift up your eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh your help?” (Psalm 121:1) Will you rest in the sweet arms of your Heavenly Father, who is “thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms?” (Deut 33:27) Will you cry out to Jesus, who will hold as firm as an anchor in life’s trials?
The promise of help in the “worst thing ever” is only to those who know and love Jesus as personal Saviour. Jesus’ “worst thing ever” He faced with “joy” (Hebrews 12:2) so that He could provide His love, assurance, peace, and comfort during ours.