Last week I was reading this book called Compassionate Care by John Walton and I came across this poem and it deeply touched me. The poem is called Forgive Me When I Whine. The Author of the poem is Unknown. Here’s the poem;
"Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;
I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
but as she passed, she wore a smile
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two feet –the world is mine
And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
the lad who served me had such charm;
he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;
I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”
And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play,
it seemed he knew not what to do;
I stopped a moment, then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?
He looked ahead without a word,
I realized –he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears, the world is mine
With feet to take me where I’d go,
with eyes to see the sunsets glow,
with ears to hear what I would know,
I am blessed indeed.
The world is mine Oh God, forgive me when I whine"
When i read this poem, it really resonated with me. A lot of times, we as humans go through things and our struggles can be so overwhelming that we forget to see the good that is left in our lives. It is not easy to stay positive in the midst of adversity but it is important if we must survive and keep going. 1 Samuel 30:6 talks about David, who found himself in a very bad situation. He went off to war with his men and they left their wives and and children behind with all their possessions. When they came back, they found out that their enemies had raided their camp, took their wives and kids and all their belongings and burned down their camp. The men where all distraught and and even threatened to stone David, their king. David was devastated too, but the Bible says that David did not whine or complain, he encouraged himself in the Lord.
“ And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of all the people was bitter, each one for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
David did not have a motivator at that time. He did not have a supporter. They were all against him because they were upset. He was upset too because his wife and kids were gone. He did not rely on anyone to put him in a good mood. He encouraged himself. He pepped himself up. He strengthened himself. He made himself feel better. We shouldn’t always wait for other people to make us feel better because there will be times when it will just be us. You have to find ways to speak to yourself and say, “John/Jane, things are tough right now but you will be okay. You are alone now but it won’t always be like that. Things will get better. This is not the end.”
But most importantly, you must stop comparing your situation with other people and always look at the silver lining in your life. The Author from the poem said that they envied the Woman’s fair skin and hair but did not realize she was a cripple. A disability the Author was grateful he did not have. He admired a server’s cheerful attitude but did not realize he was blind. A disability the author was grateful he did not have.
Many times we compare our lives to other people's, and we focus on the good things they may have. But we don’t always realize that we have so much to be thankful for as well, and that those things in our lives we take for granted, many people are seeking for them desperately.
We sometimes take for granted the fact that we have our legs and can move freely but a person that is wheelchair-bound will do anything to have their legs back. If you can see, you can hear, you can speak, your mind is okay, you have friends and family who love you. You have a job. You have a bit of money in your account. You can breathe freely without the need of an oxygen tank. You’re not on medications. You don’t make frequent trips to the hospital, you have a roof over your head, you sleep at night, etc. Then you are okay. You are better than okay.
You have luxuries that some people cannot buy even if they had all the money in the world.
Let’s stop whining and complaining. Life is hard but it could have been harder if God had allowed it. Let's be grateful and thankful for the good things we have and focus on them. When i read that poem, i asked God to forgive me when i whine about my life. I took a time of reflection and i realized i have a lot to be thankful for. God has brought me a mighty long way and every step of the way, i saw His goodness, even though things were hard. I purposed in mind to continue to have an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness, and i hope you do the same. You have so much to be thankful for.
Oh God, forgive us when we whine.