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My Granny Ray had two sayings that I am reminded of quite frequently: “Life gets tedious”, and “This too shall pass.” She didn’t necessarily use these together on the same occasion, but I have found that you can count on both. She used the saying about life being tedious to let me know that whatever I am going through is just part of life and that each person will go through difficulties in life.

Paul Faulkner, in his series, “Making Things Right when Things go Wrong”, sets the premise that things do go wrong. And life is the process of making things right when things have gone wrong. So what can you do about a bad situation?

  • Re-frame your thinking. Look for a positive aspect to the situation. Sometimes it is not what actually happens to us that matters as much as how we react to what happens. The Apostle Paul suffered a thorn in the flesh. But when he re-framed his thinking he was able to say, “When I am weak, then I am strong”.
  • Act better than you feel. Actions seal your commitment to something. While you cannot will yourself to feel a certain way, you can will yourself to act a certain way, which will cause your feelings to follow along. Faulkner says most of the good that’s done in this world is done by people who don’t feel like it. They are people of faith because faith is acting on something you cannot verify with your feelings.7bc994a82a277dc98a861bb33488415d.jpg
  • Cut your line when it is tangled. Experienced fishermen simply cut the tangled line, pull out a new line, and get on with their fishing. The line of life sometimes gets tangled by guilt and resentment. The way to survive and make things right that have gone wrong is to live one day at a time – today.
  • Keep cool, even when you are hot. Once you lose control of your temper, you are no longer capable of making things right. The problem goes unsolved and you must also deal with the damage that your anger has caused.

Life does get tedious. So maybe you find a solution to your difficulty. Maybe you find a way to live with it. Maybe you just start over. I think that Granny Ray was trying to tell me that it is up to me to change my life when things go wrong. But we can also rest assured, this too shall pass.

Cookie Adams

 

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Daniel, the book in the Old Testament, contains one of my favorite stories in the bible. Chapter 3 describes this–the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

For those who are not familiar or need a refresher this story is about three Israelites living in captivity under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. The empire he ruled was Babylon. A law that he set in motion was for all the people to worship an image of gold by bowing to it after a horn is blown.

So, it happened that the horns blew and the people bowed before this idol. Except for three Jews. See, they worshiped the true God and God does not allow for worship of idols. These men, Sharach, Meshach, and Abendnego refused to bow down even under the pressure and example of those around them.

King Nebuchandnezzar was furious. He demanded they worship this idol or be thrown into a blazing furnace. They refused by giving one of the most faithful rebuttals in all of scripture.

They said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

There are a number of directions to take this story. The focus I want to give it is the faithfulness and trust in God–no matter the consequence. They were so trusting in the power of God that he could save them from the most dangerous of situations. They were also so dedicated to his service abandoning the faith was not an option, even if God chose not to save them.

What does this mean for us?

There are situations in which we realize the power of God could change our circumstance. Our hopes seem so pure and reasonable. Why doesn’t God let this happen? Or why has God allowed this to happen?

In these instances it is helpful to have the attitude these three people of God had:

Even if my circumstance does not change–I will continue to serve God.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA

Our society does not accept waiting. In fact, waiting motivates innovators. Finding faster ways of doing things is one of the most advertised selling points. We have fast food, faster internet, etc. Also, our society feels entitled. There are certain things in life we believe we are owed. Neither of these ideas are respected by God.

A theme throughout the bible is faithfulness. God calls Noah to be faithful in building a huge boat. Abraham is to be faithful in waiting for a child, even into old age. In the New Testament a theme of faith in God exists as one of the most important aspects of being Christian. It is listed as a “fruit of the Spirit” in the book of Galatians.

Faithfulness is impossible without waiting. If we got everything we wanted or thought we deserved there would be no need for a faith that God will be our provider. A struggle is that some of these things we have to wait on–or never receive– may even be honorable.

Ultimately, we have to remember our time is not God’s time and God decides how we should be blessed. When we live remembering this we can live more freely. We can be open to serving God in whatever circumstance we find ourselves knowing that God blesses us.

God’s blessings just may not come the way we expect them or when we want them. This is why we must faithfully wait.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT

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