I recently had a rotten attitude. Faced with an unexpected circumstance, a change in my precious plans, I chose negativity and disappointment. I’m sure it showed on my face; I felt the heaviness of it yet refused to let it go. I whined and complained. Even sulked.
Life is what it is. We are what we choose. Our attitude, our responses, and our perspective will be the only things we can control.
The situation I faced was not terrible. In fact, it was mostly positive, even a blessing. Yet, I focused on one negative aspect and let that pull me down into a stinky pit.
We all face disappointments, bad news, unexpected detours and unwelcome changes, and in those moments we all must choose. It may require every ounce of strength within us, a fierce focus to see the situation for what it is, and mostly a surrendering of our plans and expectations that were just challenged, or even shattered.
We either see our circumstance in view of our own plans and need for control or in light of God’s love and faithfulness to us.
It is amazing how perspective and attitude can seem to transform a situation. Attitude can move us forward through valleys of tragedy and transform us into overcomers. The sky may seem dark and hope illusive, but surrendering our will and seeking the Lord can change the landscape completely.
At first glance we see only unfulfilled expectations, pain, and difficulty. We lose heart quickly and drift into disappointment, anger, and confusion. Yet, Christ offers to us his clarity and the promise of his presence. Why is it so hard to pause within those moments and ground ourselves in him?
I let the simplest of things throw me. I react horribly, losing my mind over a broken washing machine or a change in dinner plans. God is there in it all, with me and supporting me but how easily I panic. Temporarily, I forget who God is and that I am his child, loved and cared for in his perfect love.
There is joy and blessing to be found. Peace is a gift to us when we let go of our need for control and open our hands to accept what God has for us. He is good and we can trust him.
We can bow our hearts before Jesus and ask him:
- What is it you want to do in me through this circumstance?
- Where do I need to trust you more?
- Is this even about me? Who needs to hear your voice and feel your love through this?
- What am I holding onto for security and comfort instead of relying on you?
God is in continual pursuit of us and offering to us his constant invitation to join him, rest in him and trust him. He wants us to know that he eliminates any reason to freak out, panic, or sulk. His power and goodness are enough for us.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12