It’s been one of those days. Not terrible, but just enough annoying little things to grate against my sanity. When there’s yet another car repair in less than two weeks time, I force my chin up and remember that God’s gotten us through worse. When Little Man is having a rough day and prefers whining to his normal cheerful chatter, I tell myself to not lose my patience.

But that flesh part of me is begging to succumb to the pity party. So I try something that goes against my normal tendencies and pray for perspective.

This image I saw floating around facebook the other day flashes back into my mind. It could be worse, and I’ll joyfully go without my morning glass of milk and scrounge up leftovers for lunch.

Yet again, selfishness fought to take over my thoughts, and again God gave me perspective through a name this time. Youcef Nadarkhani, a believer in the same Jesus who listens to my petty complaints, awaits possible execution in an Iranian prison. At the very same time I’m drawing with sidewalk chalk on a sunny day with my son, he’s separated from his wife and two children, on the verge of becoming a martyr. The only sure way he will be released from prison is if he denies his faith in Christ. His response to this ultimatum:  “Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?…I cannot.” (

So I hug my son tight and assure him of my love. I thank God that at least we have a vehicle. I fight back tears as I’m humbled to realize that perspective and gratitude are key. Each breath that I take, each moment I spend openly praying and reading my Bible, each dollar I spend on our needs instead of wants – they’re gifts with which I’ve been trusted, not to be taken for granted.

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