Thursday, September 6, 2018

Shifting our Thinking

“What’s wrong?” My husband was out of his regular routine coming downstairs immediately after he woke up. He began to explain how the sump pump broke and his need to repair it before the predicted storms. My gut reaction was the normal “woe is me”.

There is always something to complain about in every situation. We don’t have money for this right now… You have to get in to work on time for your medical test for insurance this morning… Why is there always something broken frustrating our days? The list is unending as to how I am inconvenienced.

“I’m thankful I saw it and there wasn’t a fire last night!” My husband expressed truth opposite what was playing in my mind. The girls and I slept soundly unknowingly of the smoking sump pump that was overworking itself without shutting off. My husband came home from a night out with friends and saw it before going to bed.

“I’m thankful it didn’t happen this past weekend when we were away!” Another response of gratitude from my husband interrupts my selfish thoughts. Our weekend camping trip had just ended and we were still in the process of packing the gear away. My husband spoke truth and his reflections were better for the soul than the ones swirling in my thoughts.

“I’m thankful you know how to replace sump pump already!” I joined my husband in shifting my focus. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8

My husband was able to get to the store, purchase the materials, replace the sump pump and walk into his office at work one minute early! God is good. ALL THE TIME. Even when I don’t see the bigger picture and think I’ve entered a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We may not be able to control the circumstances that come our way. However, we do have control over how we respond to them. There’s a lot of truly horrible news out there. A family of little boys lose their mother tragically and their lives are altered forever. Parents have their world turned upside down as they take their little girl in to the doctor expecting a virus and unexpectedly hearing leukemia instead. A mother fights to stay alive for her little boy with a double mastectomy and rounds of chemo and medication enter her weekly routine.

Most days this world is overwhelming. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the pain. I’m choosing to remember that we are only here temporarily. This world is not my home and eternity is waiting. This is just a temporary holding ground shaping each of us more into the image of Christ. How will today’s obstacles shape me?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

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