Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking for the Silver Lining

My friend Suzanne is a born optimist. She can find blessings when many see only obstacles. I stayed with her the day she had a hip replacement and amid her pain, she joked with aides, thanked every nurse and doctor profusely, smiled and laughed, and made everyone’s day happier. Her favorite symbol is a yellow smiley face.

Today I spoke with Suzanne on the phone. She’s had two hips replaced now, has broken both of her femur bones and now has plates and screws in them, and she’s still smiling. Some of us may not be naturally optimistic like Suzanne, but we can still train ourselves to find peace amid sorrow. Job did that. Everything was taken from him. His children died, his friends mocked him, his wife ridiculed him, he suffered terribly and lost all of his possessions, yet He proclaimed, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And, after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”

Consider a few situations that some face. Notice how they can either focus on the blessing or the burden.

I feel so lonely. No one calls or visits me. I’m so grateful I have the time to visit those who are lonely, sick, or shut-in. It’s such a blessing to have the time to reach out to those needing my love. I’m thankful God has given me the time to develop my talents and serve others.

People have hurt and disappointed me. I can’t trust anyone. All of us make mistakes, but most people are trying their best to live good lives. Since I want people to love me with all my flaws, I can choose to love others with all of their failings as well. When others disappoint me, I can always trust God because He knows and loves me perfectly. He is my Rock, my true Friend, and my Redeemer.

My life lacks purpose and meaning. I feel my life is insignificant. God is no respecter of persons. He loves each of us perfectly and powerfully. My life has great purpose because I am a child of God. As I trust in Him, He will use me as His instrument to accomplishment His great work. Nothing that I do is insignificant, for God accomplishes his great work by small and simple means.

Satan has attacked my in every one of these areas this week. I’ve felt tired and sad because of my son’s illness, and I’ve found myself slipping into some negative thinking patterns. Many of us struggle to maintain a close walk with God and to constantly feel His love for us. Even cheerful Suzanne needs to be reminded at times of her great worth. Since we’re close friends, we call each other often, and we cheer each other up when we’re feeling down. This week she’s my cheerleader. Sometimes, I have been hers.

Today may you feel God’s perfect love for you. May you be enfolded in the arms of His love during your darkest hours, and may you remember that our Redeemer does live.

© Carol Brown

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