Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If only... even though

I remember coming across an article a number of years ago. I can't find it, and can't recall exactly how it went. But the main point of the subject, I do remember. It has stayed with me through the years. It went something like this:

A man had faced numerous obstacles and problems in his life, some of which had him at the point of giving up and quitting. He decided one day to take an index card and write on it... "If only-- Even though." Every time he looked at a problem, he would put an "If only." Then he would write the problem, followed by an "Even though." Beside the even though he would write why he must not give up and quit, but press on. He would write a plan of action, a scripture promise, or a prayer prayed. It was enough to get his focus off the problem and onto the possibilities.

We are all faced with "if onlies." If only I had have gotten a better education, if only my marriage had have worked, if only they had not done this to me. If only my health was better, the economy was in better shape. If only I had not take the path I did.

But it is never too late to change. And many times to change where you are going, you must change your perspective. Change your thinking. Get your eyes off the problems and onto the promises, onto the positive things God has in store for you.

We are all faced with obstacles. Financial difficulties, peer pressure, relationship problems, health problems, and other issues come our way. Stress and anxiety, fear, doubt, and worry want to latch onto us. We must choose to direct our focus in a positive, uplifting direction.

God will get you through this. He never gives up on you. Look beyond the trial, through the storm. He has a plan for your life. You will look back at your struggle one day and realize it was just a test.

Blessings to you today. God is good!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't get bitter, get better

Life's journey presents us with opportunities that are painful. There will be times when relationships sour. A marriage dissolves, friendships erode. People say things that are hurtful. Some situations leave you feeling bitter. And yet, no matter how bad things become, getting bitter is not an option.

In the book of Ruth, Naomi says, "Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me." (Ruth 1:20) Naomi had experienced the untimely deaths to her husband and two sons. With grief in her soul, she blamed God. And she said, don't call me by my name anymore. Her name was Naomi, which means pleasant. She said, from now on, call me Mara. Mara means bitter.

Bitter is like a poison that affects the soul. It arouses memories of being wronged. It causes a sense of helplessness, and a tendency to want to get back at the one who offended you. It can affect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Some people have seemingly had more than their share of trials and troubles. There are those who have obviously been wounded by others. And yet, being bitter was not their choice. One example is that of Joseph. Although he experienced rejection by his brothers, which resulted in him being sold as a slave and led to a prison, he never sought retaliation. And when the time came that his brothers were before him, Joseph was in a place of position and power where he could have done so. But he chose to forgive. And by doing so, the relationship with his brothers was restored. There may be those who have walked out of your life who may come back into it. They may need you, and you may need them. But if your heart is cold, it will never happen.

Forgiving is better, whether it is asked for, or not. While some relationships may be restored, the fact is that others will never be mended. Some people are never coming back into your life. Either way you can't afford to be bitter. One word for bitterness is poison. Get the poison out of your life.

Don't get bitter, get better. Forgive. Let it go. Choose to move on. You can get through this.
God has more for you!