Many years ago, my former partner created a sophisticated computer software program that tracked client alerts. This system was installed on every computer in the laboratory and whenever a client and/or physician’s office called with a complaint or suggestion, it would immediately be logged into the program as a client alert and categorized by urgency and importance. The most urgent alert meant the client was going to switch laboratories and leave our service. Obviously these received immediate attention. Other alerts were similarly categorized and were reviewed on a daily and weekly basis at our quality improvement meetings.
This laudable system identified many serious and simmering issues on a more timely basis than we had previously accomplished. However, I always had a nagging doubt this system was not capturing issues that were annoying or troublesome to the client but went unreported to our laboratory. How many of these smaller issues would have to be experienced by the client until finally, one seemingly small incident was enough to cause the client to leave our laboratory services? If we reviewed the reasons why the client left, we would be befuddled why a minor incident was the reason for the departure. One could easily arrive at the conclusion that the client was too sensitive or finicky while in reality, it was a litany of poor service that had accumulated over time. The seemingly small incident was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Conflicts in personal relationships are like a client alert system. There are certainly serious issues that can immediately break a relationship. But what about the small nicks and bruises that one receives over time? It is the neglected thanks for a job for which one has labored; it is the boastful comment by a colleague praising his work while denigrating yours. So many examples which alone may seem insignificant or petty to a casual observer, but over time can amount to an explosive crisis.
Frustration and suffering can foment ingratitude which can lead to hurt and anger and eventual rejection of that person or relationship. In this life, what hope do we have?
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
There is a chain of events that leads to many of our behaviors. For every frustration or suffering, one can choose to descend into the morass of self-pity and grousing or one can break the chain and look upward and outward to God rather than downward and inward to wallow in a sea of misery. God shows us the better pathway by giving all believers who have confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The moment that happens, the Holy Spirit indwells within us and starts the sanctification, the transformation into a child of God. God promises to bring the healing and peace to our souls we all desperately need and desire.
All praise to the living God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.