This Problem Won't Last Forever

My eyes were half open when I could see the red outline of the alarm clock.  It read, “3:00 am”. I was disturbed by what sounded like a heard of elephants. Rather than elephants, it was my five-year-old making a trip from his bed to ours. He doesn’t do it that often, but when he does join us it disrupts everything. Even though we have a king-sized bed, it still manages to mess up uninterrupted sleep.

Then, on this particular morning, at some time before my alarm went off, I realized that my wife and my son had conspired against me to steal whatever warmth I had from the blanket. They took all the covers!

So, there I was, shivering, left with my little two-foot section of the bed, and all I could think was, “When is this going to stop!?”

I don’t know about you, but this time of the year just seems to add a little extra stress to my life. I don’t sleep as well, there are so many things to do, and when it is all said and done I’m not 100% sure that I ever really remember what happened. I just never feel rested. Rather than rest, I just end up wrestling with the next problem. Problems seem to magnify each other at this time of year.

Most of my problems are circumstantial: kid crawls into the bed, we have to carry around extra stuff because of all the events, I am stuck sitting at the kids’ table because there is no room anywhere else.

That’s when it hit me: These problems won’t last forever.

In the not too distant future my five-year-old will stop crawling into bed for comfort from his parents.

The kids will eventually drive themselves to places rather than ride with us -- if they even go at all.

A seat will open up at the adult table, and it will be because someone we love has gone home to be with the Lord.

I am beginning to realize that these aren’t really problems at all; they are an indicator of my season in life. And just like every season it isn’t perfect, but it can be joyous.

This year I am going to give thanks for my “problems.” I am going to embrace my grievances, and I am going to pray that they last at least one more year.

Maybe this year, amidst all of the hustle of what will be an extraordinarily busy season, we can stop and just give thanks for all of our problems. Maybe our prayer this year will be, “Lord, please don’t make it stop.”