We all want God’s blessings in our lives. At least we claim to want them. Those struggling with more than their fair share of misfortune especially pray for God to intervene and make things better. And well we should…Jesus tells us to pray persistently and unceasingly. And yet, for some it seems their prayers go unanswered. Year after year they struggle with faith, hoping against hope that God will finally come through, seemingly to no avail.
But if we’re going to listen to Jesus, we need to hear everything that He said. He also told us to have faith…believe we’ve received what we asked for even before receiving it. We’re told that with faith we can move mountains. The Gospels are full of stories of healings and faith…and even some in which a lack of faith kept Jesus from performing any miracles.
One key I think is having understanding of your own personality and then learning how you should pray. We all know the proverbial question- do we see the glass as half full or half empty? I’ve grappled with that question about myself. I’m a therapist…and pretty good at it. I’ve been known to inspire many people. And yet, in my own inner self I know the truth…I can tend to see things pretty negatively and constantly have to fight against my critical nature. So, answering that question perplexed me. My answer would basically vary depending on what day you happened to ask me.
On retreat several years ago God gave me an insight about myself in this regard. Sitting at the shore at a lovely Connecticut retreat house, I considered that question and came to realize this: I definitely see the glass has half full but… “Don’t you think that would be better in a stem glass?” I sat there laughing, thinking “This is what you brought me on retreat for, Lord?!” Little did I realize how profound that knowledge would be in my own emotional and spiritual journey. My critical nature could take me right down and eclipse every blessing – if I let it. Good, even great, is sometimes simply not good enough- it can always be tweaked or redone or somehow perfected. You can imagine how this can be a recipe for misery!
We can abort God’s blessings if we’re not careful. I’ve seen many people whose negative attitudes are more at the heart of their misery than their actual circumstances. Yet, I’ve also seen other people who endure considerably more terrible circumstances with positive attitudes that fare much better.
Even in the midst of grave events, if we look, we can find God and His blessings. In horrific tragedies, such as September 11th, we saw heroes run into burning buildings to save others. We saw hundreds of people that didn’t lose loved ones who lined up to donate blood for complete strangers. During this tragedy and in other natural disasters, we’ve seen neighbors reach out to neighbors and have seen human determination overcoming the loss of limbs in war.
We need to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
In the smaller and more personal storms we need to look more closely and choose our perspective. The worst thing that ever happened in the history of humanity…creatures killed their Creator on a cross, was also the best thing that ever happened in the history of humanity…Jesus saved us from our sins and opened the gates of heaven for us. Upon which do you choose to focus?
Life is filled with such paradoxes. The blessings are always there. We need to decide to look for them. We need to resolve to find them…and not let the negatives obscure our view. It takes decision! But sometimes it may take a little help. Sometimes at the heart of our negativity are unhealed wounds. Fear of being hurt, disappointed or humiliated again can be a powerful force. A counselor or coach can be invaluable in helping you break this pattern. When two or more are gathered in His name, Jesus is there in the midst of every trouble…and through Him you can triumph over every evil.
But there’s no substitute for decision. Give us a call and get started. You’ll be amazed at the blessings you’ll find!
- Ep. 225 Life Changing Books: Devotion for the Dying - February 28, 2024
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- When Days Collide - February 14, 2024
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