Re-posted from October 2014.
Don’t let the positive messengers out there fool you.
You can’t make yourself feel better by simply telling yourself this is “your best life now”, and all that goes with that message. It may suffice for some people whose challenges are minimal. It can give you a temporary high. It can even lie to you by making you think that your positive outlook, your performance, caused the positive outcome.
But for the grandfather who is doubled over with pain from stomach cancer or the young mother who is now paralyzed with a stroke, the positive message is a mockery to human angst.
I understand the importance of choosing to be optimistic. And yes, we can and should talk ourselves into at least considering there is another side to whatever we’re facing. But so often, the positive message comes from people who had a positive outcome to what they prayed or believed for.
Where does that leave people who didn’t get a positive outcome?
If you look closely, those hurting people have a positive message, too. It was despite their outcome that they found the true positive message. They had to dig deep to find it. Deeper than any popular book, teaching, or sermon. Deeper than anything the human spirit or intellect can contrive.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Your positive message will be that you’ve seen the light of God’s face in the darkness. And don’t be surprised if people don’t listen. Because humans have always been good at finding another way.
God may not change your situation. But He will wipe away your tears.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
It’s a pretty common thing to get mad at God.
Have you ever felt angry at your earthly father? Remember the teenage years when you may have felt the steady hand of a father not giving into your request?
(I’m not talking about abusive fathers, but the picture of a caring father who wants the best for his son or daughter. Not a perfect father, but an involved father. If you didn’t have a father, or he was abusive, I hope you will understand what I am saying).
Any authority figure provides an example, but a father figure is pertinent because God is a Heavenly Father.
Getting mad at God is not much different than getting mad at an earthly father, really, except God is perfect and his response is perfect.
In other words, God has the shoulders for it. He can take it.
But eventually, you have to decide if you are going to stay mad at God.
Some people do, you know.
They become bitter. Life is not pleasant for them.
Listen. I know a lot of very, very bad things happen in our world. I am not diminishing your pain.
But somewhere along the line, you will have to decide if you are going to accept what happened and move on.
Moving on doesn’t mean you are the same person before your pain. It doesn’t mean it’s okay that it happened.
It does mean you make your peace with it and God, understanding that for now, we face great difficulty in our lives at times.
The only way you can stop being angry is to settle it once and for all: you cannot change anything by being angry.
This only comes from believing God and trusting him, knowing he will do what he says he will do, even if you’re hurting and do not understand “why”.
God will help you see this. You have to first decide you want it.
All around us, people are dealing with something.
You cannot judge a book by it’s cover. Especially today, social networking like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … project our best (or worst) foot forward.
A moment in the day is not indicative of what people are going through.
You may be that person. In your pain, reaching out to another person will somehow make you feel better, so take time to think of someone else today.
The gal at Walmart, “I really like your necklace..” You may have made her day by just those few words.
Someone noticed me.
Stopping where there is no crosswalk for someone. Who cares if there are 6 cars behind you?
Jesus talked about giving a cup of water. A very simple action all of us are capable of doing.
Take time to see beyond the book cover and look inside. All you need is the first page that tells you that everyone can use a kind word.
It will require a few more moments than clicking “like” in the safety of your private space.
But it could mean the world to someone.