LIFE CAN GET rough at times. At the end of a bad day or even a bad week, you might feel as though everything in your life is falling apart. Nothing is going right, and you are overwhelmed. In those moments, you can become fixated on the negative circumstances facing you.
No one is immune from the feelings that come to them. You may be thinking, “Lynette, you mean you have experienced those feelings or thoughts too!” Of course, I have. I am human just like you. But how you deal with those feelings and thoughts determine whether you become a victim or a victor. Depression can consume you, or you can rise above the situation and become a conqueror.
Time and again in this column, I have emphasized the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit. My thoughts go back to one day in a really bad week. Everything that could happen seemed to have happened that week. I had some physical symptoms in my body. I had gotten very little sleep, and my desk was piled high with work that required many decisions. To top it off, I was also a mediator between several employees who were at odds with each other.
I had taken all I could take that week and still remain sane and positive. When I opened my mail that day, I encountered what we call “the last straw.” Someone wrote the ministry complaining about one of our graduates. The letter was hurtful. It accused us of not training our students properly.
In these circumstances, I have learned the best person to vent to is the Lord. I had a royal pity party with God. I said to Him, “Lord, my husband and I have worked ourselves to the bone training these students, and all they are doing is messing up.” I felt sorry for myself and continued grumbling for several minutes.
After a while, I stopped and sat at my desk in silence. For God to speak to us, we have to take time to listen. As I was sitting quietly, the Lord began to ask me some questions. Oftentimes in the Bible, Jesus answered people’s questions with a question.
“How many graduates are you talking about?” He asked.
This was not the first time I had received a letter like that. So in detail, I proudly told God about every graduate I had received a complaint about. I named ten incidents.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
The Lord asked, “Is that all the complaints you know of?”
I emphatically answered, “Yes Lord!”
“How many students have graduated from Rhema?”
I was good with statistics and quickly gave Him that information. This was many years ago, and I loudly said, “10,000 Lord, 10,000!”
God knew I am good at math and proceeded to ask, “What percentage is that?”
If there had been a hole below my desk, I think I would have crawled in it. I realized what a mountain I had made out of a molehill. I was looking at the wrong percentage. I had received 10 bad reports, but we had 9,990 graduates with good reports.
So often we concentrate on the few negative things that occur that we fail to be grateful for all the good things that are happening. I encourage you to daily find something you are thankful for. I often thank the Lord for a healthy body with eyes to see, ears to hear, legs to walk, and arms to use. We take these things for granted until something happens that impairs one of our faculties.
Several years ago, I fell and fractured my shoulder. The healing process made it necessary for my arm to be immobilized. I did not realize until that time how much you need both arms. After the accident, I began to thank God for two good arms.
I encourage you to live a life of gratitude. As a family, I suggest that at your mealtime every day, each family member expresses something they are thankful for. Gratitude is not only good for the soul, but studies have shown it can also boost your immune system. And most of all, let’s daily give thanks to the Lord for His provisions.
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