I was looking through some pictures and digging through some boxes and came across an old Winnie the Pooh story book. I used to love reading these adventures to my kids. As I flipped through the pages I realized that at times I have been able to identify with each of these characters. Kanga the Momma, Owl, the wise teacher, Pooh the food addict ( oh come now, what would this bear not do for his honey? like what wouldn’t you do for your chocolate, etc.), Rabbit the OCD cleaner, fixer, gardener, Tigger the trouble maker, and Eeyore. Poor Eeyore. That is one character I might have identified with a little too often.
This weekend while visiting my grandfather I saw something amazing. I know I have mentioned it in previous posts but it really has left an indelible mark on me. Every time anyone would ask him how he was feeling he would say I am doing great. Even though you knew he was hurting and could tell at times he was uncomfortable his first response, unless you asked him further and more specific questions, was to say he was doing great. When you visited with him he would talk of the love of God and how good his God is to him and how much he loves him. We we would cry and stand around his bed praying he would bring the situation right to the foot of the cross and how great his God is. How capable and ready and always present his God is. Then I got to thinking. How often do I get stuck in the Eeyore complex instead of seeing the things that are good and right about my day, my situation, my life? How many times have I let my thoughts and my attitude show something other than that goodness of God in my life? I can get so overwhelmed with the things that are happening that I forget that if it is touching my life than God has okayed it. Instead of a pity party for myself and allowing myself to sink deeper and deeper into despair I can focus on the things that are good and positive and apply truth to the other places. Instead of seeing all the things that can’t be I can see the things that could be. If I applied as much energy to being miserable and depressed and worrying over a situation how much more can I accomplish if I just turn the page and start looking at things new? What if instead of starting my morning fretting over all the things I have to do that day I woke up and spent sometime giving my day and the events that will occur to the Lord, the one who already knows my days and the number of hairs on my head?
“[Praise to the God of All Comfort] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Oh woe is me! No more!
I learned something this weekend. Well maybe it is better to say that I took something I have been taught many times and applied it this weekend. Yes, there are things touching my life that are not fun. Yes, I know that God is able. He can say to a mountain be thou removed and it will move. He can change water into wine and raise the dead. He can heal the sick and rain food from heaven. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can do whatever it is He wants too. Yet He is also wise enough to know what I have need of. Wise enough to know what will draw me to Him and have me search for Him as the giver and sustainer of my life. He desires me to depend on Him and know Him and cleave to Him and Him alone. He knows the things that I am going through are tough but if I look and listen I will see the lesson. And then to the lesson might be for someone else all together. Sometimes even the very people and situations that bring us the most pain are necessary to allow us to fulfill the calling in our lives.
There are things I have been facing and dealing with that I wish would go away. Yet I have so much to be thankful for. God has truly blessed me and my family and if I allow Him to teach me in the valley like I do on the mountain, if I allow myself to see things as He does and ask Him to direct me, than the woe is me turns to the joy of the Lord is my strength.
I am excited to practice what I learned. To apply the joy of the Lord to my day. To see the positive and let the negative wash away. Something tells me that as I begin to change my perspective a great new adventure awaits……..
Let me share too a short story on perspective
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room with a hospital window. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the hospital window. The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that hospital window – and that thought now controlled his life…….
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the hospital window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no works, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the hospital window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the hospital window beside the bed………..
It faced a blank wall.