In times like these where we have once again endured the plans of Evil trying to focus us on the evil, I find it best to focus instead on what is good! Does that mean I have my head in the clouds? No. I just choose not to listen or watch the events over and over again in my mind. But instead, watch how people come to the aid of those in need; many running TO the situation instead of from it. It was great to read the positive comments and messages of others to encourage and lift up the spirits of the people in need. THAT’S what can make all things bearable.
I believe that we can learn many truths in the times of trials that we face, no matter what that difficulty is. If we would remember this same kind of love and encouragement that we give each other during difficult times, and give it out all the time, then maybe our lives would be much better lived. I love the idea and the opportunity we have with social media to be used as a way to lift each other up and share positive messages. Anyone can be negative. But it takes a special way of thinking to focus on the good. We are all capable of it though with God’s help. It’s a choice. I want to read things that make me stand up or rise up and say YES! That’s what I needed to hear! I agree with that caring message enough, that I am going to pass that message along to encourage someone else. I am going to pay it forward! I take the focus off myself, and instead, focus on others. It’s pretty hard to be negative and say encouraging words at the same time. When we do a good deed, we aren’t thinking of ourselves but of someone else first. I loved going through the Starbucks line the other day and buying the coffee for the person in back of me. That’s what it is about for me.
I also think that we see how events are sensationalized during these times. We need to stop the drama. Hopefully we recognize it for what it is, and we come back down to the basics of our lives and realize how blessed we are to have the lives we have. We may not have experienced attacks here, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. How would we want others to respond towards us in a given situation? Let’s pray for protection daily over our world. Now. We have a responsibility to pray for our nation, leaders, families, and people. Let’s do that on a daily basis, not just when something horrible happens.
So how does this play out for us? We can ask ourselves a few questions:
- How should I respond to my own responsibility to live out my life differently?
- What can be learned from this difficult time/season so I may avoid it happening in my future, or at least respond better to it?
- Am I communicating through prayer to ask Him for protection and guidance every day?
- What does God want to me to do about it?
Here’s a starting point…
- Love on your family and those around you every day! Show them and tell them. Stay connected with each other.
- Your friends? Let them know how much they mean to you! We aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow. They are a treasure given to us.
- Be a giver and share what you have to give; a word in due season, a dinner, a cup of coffee, your time, a donation, whatever it is that God puts before you.
- Live your life every day LOOKING for what He has for you to do.
- Live as if it could be your last days, and it will change how you look at EVERYTHING.
I only have to look back at my trip to Honduras to remember there are places that have needs FAR greater than I. But I can also find those same needs right here in my own back yard. So, I ask myself, can I do something about it? If I can, I must. It’s hard at first to be obedient in everything, especially if you haven’t lived that way before. But, when you do, you will find it brings you joy and it certainly brings glory to God when I am His hands and feet here on earth. I reap the benefits, feel better and also feel closer to God. It should never be out of obligation. But, author Stovall Weems says in his book, Awakening, “If you don’t feel like obeying God, then something is wrong with your feelings.” Ouch! But true.
Do you know what happens when we look at life this way? It eventually becomes a natural way to live. You will have so much more joy in your life every day! Then, when the hard times come, your bank is so full that you can handle the hard stuff when it comes so much easier. God tells us that we will have trials so I shouldn’t be surprised when they come. He doesn’t give us multiple choice in what comes our way either. Can you imagine what would happen with that? We are dealing with things that past generations have had to live through, they just didn’t have the media around to follow the stories live-to-the-minute. I think sometimes we just think because we are the generation living with the most knowledge available to us, that we should have gotten past those horrible times; learned something. In fact, we have not. These things are happening to many other people in the world all the time. We have people being killed for their faith. We just don’t see it or hear so much about it. We, like many people in biblical times, have not learned from our past.
My challenge? Spend the next thirty days living differently than you have before in terms of being a great friend, a great parent, a giver, an encourager, and looking for the next good thing you can do. I know it will change your life! We don’t need to live as defeated people by the very things going on around us. We are free to live out our lives for Him. It should make us more determined to live every day to its fullest.
Are you living your best each day? If not, hit the reset button in your life today and start again. Learn new behaviors. Break open the doors that have been locked before you or in you! It will energize you! I have made this my priority in life to live in gratitude over every little thing that comes into my life. I see it as good. Am I perfect to respond all time at the first onset of difficult times? No, not always. But a great percentage of the time I can. The more I live that way, the happier I am. I can honestly say that I am happy in my life and where God has placed me, as well as, where He leads me. I hope this has sparked something deep inside you that motivates you to move forward towards this similar life style. God will always bless it.
Now THAT is worth living for! Walking the journey with you…