Sunday, August 13, 2017

Why do Good People Suffer

I have often wondered why good people suffer and bad people seem to just skate by with things. I had a complete revelation on the subject as I was being quiet and thinking. Often, if we will be still enough to hear, God's voice will become more apparent. 

Good people suffer because this isn't about them. Just because you are dealing with hard times whether it be financially, physically, mentally or spiritually, does not mean that you are the one who needs to learn from the circumstances. Other people are watching you and taking note on how good people handle bad situations. Your children are watching, your friends are watching, your coworkers are watching, random people you come across in life are watching whether you realize it or not. When bad people go through trials people don't watch. They would expect bad people to end up in jail or shout profanities or throw a fit. So they don't watch them to learn from. Even bad people watch good people deal with their problems. 

Good people suffer because it isn't about them. It's about how others perceive and can learn from the trial the good person goes through. People watch Christians go through trials and they make note of how they handle the trial. They may not say anything but they notice. They see. They see how faith gets them through. They see how a church family rallies around those who are in the midst of trial. They watch as friends take care of all immediate needs like childcare and food of those who are in trial. And while we are in a trial, we must always be prepared to give an answer to the hope that is within us. Because as people watch, they will also ask. And when they ask, you will be able to profess that Jesus is the solid rock on which we stand and that all other land is sinking sand. 

Have a great week!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

52 Weeks

As we pack up to go home from vacation, my oldest conveyed the thought that she didn't want to go back to reality. And actually, I have seen that comment a lot this summer when people's vacation is over and they resume work, school, etc. In years past, I have actually shed tears leaving a vacation spot and going back to normal life. Then I realized something. 

If we spend our lives anticipating and enjoying the week of vacation then don't we spend the other 51 weeks of the year disappointed or in constant state of wishing we didn't have to_______?  I don't want to give a condominium in Destin that much control over my life. I don't want to give a shore of sand that much control over me. I don't want to be tossed to and fro at the mercy of what good things or bad things have been thrown my way. I want to find as much joy in a wildflower growing in a crack in the sidewalk as I do watching the moon reflect on the ocean with my husband. I want to choose to be happy whether I am sitting on beaches with crystal clear waters and not a care in the world or if I am recovering from major oral surgery and don't have a row of teeth in my head on the left side. I will choose joy because technology is such that my teeth can be permanently restored after I have suffered a little while. I want to be just as happy to go back to work on Monday as I was to leave for the beach last Saturday. I don't want a day of the week to have enough power over me to ruin my attitude. You see, attitude is a choice. Events come at us good and bad and we have no control over those events. But what we do have control over is our attitude towards it. We can choose happiness. Choose joy. Even when your mouth feels like a bomb went off inside of it. We should count it all joy when we fall into various trials because it produces patience. Good or bad, beach or home, work or play, choose joy. Spread happiness around like confetti and don't let anything have control over your reality. A condo on the beach is reality and so is going to work and coming home and cooking dinner. 

Vacations are wonderful. My husband and I sat on the beach at night and watched as the full moon reflected onto the waves. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Was that reality?  Yes it was. And so is sitting on my deck drinking sweet tea and talking about our day together. Choose joy. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, broken people can choose happiness  every single minute of every single day. I'm not coming back to reality tomorrow. 52 weeks a year is reality for me. Reality is not some awful existence where I allow my circumstances to determine my happiness. Some people think happiness is a feeling when it actually is a choice. 

Let me know what you think!