I told this story a few weeks ago during one of our worship experiences, but I thought it was something all of you could be encouraged by. Especially those of you facing difficult circumstances right now.
I’ve told the story of my grandfather before in different venues. Papa, as we called him, was one of the greatest men of God I’ve ever known. But he also experienced one of the greatest hardships I’ve ever seen. Papa watched his wife of over 50 years slowly lose her mind and body to Alzheimer’s. By the end, she started to literally scream curses and obscenities at him. But he handled it with more grace and faith than you can imagine. Regardless of grandmother’s condition, he would go every day to the nursing home and comb her hair and tell her she was beautiful until they would kick him out.
Papa died about eighteen months before Grandma passed away. The final scenes of their marriage were pitiful, really, from a purely earthly perspective. Healing never came. And it broke Papa’s heart. But still, surprisingly, every time you would ask Papa how he was doing, he’d always say the same thing: 100%.
As a kid, it always bothered me that he said that because I felt like it couldn’t be true. His health was getting worse. His wife’s health was getting much worse. And everything he loved in his life and worked to build in his life was going away.
It wasn’t until years later after he passed away that I finally understood why he could say it. I was reflecting and praying about it, about how he could say he was 100% at the worst time in his life. It still sounded like a lie. He wasn’t 100%. He wasn’t even 50%. He wasn’t even 10%.
But then I felt like the Lord spoke back to me a sentence that completely flipped my perspective: It depends on what you’re measuring.
If you’re measuring his circumstances, he’s not 100%. But if you’re measuring his confidence in Christ…If you’re measuring his hope in a future home in heaven and that one day all things will be made new…If you’re measuring the faithfulness of God towards him despite his circumstances, then he was 100% all of the time.
If you were to measure how any of us feel in any given moment, none of us could ever say 100%. Your status is going to change with the shifting sands of your circumstances. You’re going to have bad days. The carpet of your life is going to be ripped out from underneath you a few times in your life. And in those moments, the temptation is going to be to equate your condition with our circumstances.
I don’t know you. I don’t know the circumstances you’re facing. The pain you’re enduring. What I do know is that most of you would say you’re not 100%. In fact, you may think you’re in the single digits. But regardless of what you’re going through, I’d still say the same thing to you God said to me:
It depends on what you’re measuring.
Although it’s difficult, choose to see things with a new perspective. You’re 100%. Not because of your circumstances. But because of the fact that regardless of your circumstances, Christ is 100% with you and for you. 100% of the time.
This entry was originally posted August 04, 2011.