Here is my first world problem for you. My house is being remodeled, and the guys who reseated or sealed or magically mounted my toilet failed to do a proper job. So now to use the bathroom I have to go down the stairs and around the corner, in my own house! How privileged to have multiple bathrooms in my house so that when one fails, I am only as disturbed as a walk down and up the stairs?!
In my defense this remodel is really more of a rebuild; it’s been a six-month or deal. But really, truly there are lots of blessings.
Sometimes, as the saying goes, we can’t tell the forest from the trees. As Christians it’s good to remember how easy it is to forget. We forget that so-called first world problems aren’t actually problems. They’re inconveniences, and trials that those who are actually going through real troubles would consider a blessing. Like having to walk through my halls, down and then back up the stairs to use the bathroom.
The thing we should always remind ourselves of is there is always joy in the presence of God.
So many times, we are seeking for God to give us things. To answer our prayers, to see things our way, help us out, heal us up, or get us through. We want our needs-of-the-moment provided for thinking that our joy is found there. But that joy won’t come from those answered prayers. True joy comes in the presence of God. Even if God were to answer all our prayers, and manifest everything we’d ever want, it would not be the joy of God.
The fullest joy of God will be realized at the resurrection. To that nothing will compare. Until we meet Jesus, the next best thing is to be in the place where His presence is. That place is Church. That place is where the Holy Spirit is present in the Word and in the sacraments.
We live in a world where God’s presence is, is not, and is yet to come. It is easy to get lost in our first world problems and think that they are meaningful. There is only one place where true joy exists. Everything else is contrived and made up or minuscule, no matter how many trials we have to overcome.