Plan or Problem

In the opening pages of his autobiography, An American Life, Ronald Reagan writes, “I was raised to believe that God had a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan.
My mother – a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos – told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn’t let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she added, something good will happen and you’ll find yourself thinking – “If I hadn’t had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn’t have happened to me.”
After I lost the job at Montgomery Ward, I left home again in search of work. Although I didn’t know it then, I was beginning a journey that would take me a long way from Dixon and fulfill all my dreams and then some. My mother, as usual, was right.”

We all face problems in our life. The key to life is how we handle our problems. Let me share a few suggestions for handling problems with you.

First, remember that you are not alone with your problems. Others have had the same, or even worse, problems. We may need to associate with others to get their perspective on their problems and how they handled it.

Second, we must remember that all problems will not be solved. Rather, we will continue on with life and leave the problem behind. I am sure other problems will take their place.

Third, be sure to view the problem as it really is, not as it seems to be. After proper consideration, it may not be as bad as you think.

Fourth, many problems are too big for a one step solution. So, work through the issue one step at a time, trusting God to guide you on your journey.

Fifth, rather than minimizing the problem, maximize the resources to handle the problem. Remember that God is our ultimate Resource!

God has a plan for our life that will be greater than all of our problems. Remember to “cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Will your life be driven by your problems or His plans?

Woody

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Take A Detour

I recently read that the litmus test of our love for God is our love for others.  We all have other people in our lives. We have relationships that are very dear to us and we also have relationships that are simply acquaintances. I like to describe our relationships in the following manner…My office is about a block from the interstate. The interstate has vehicles going north and south all hours of the day. Those vehicles are driven by people. For the most part, people I don’t know. Next, I live on a road that is travelled by people every day. I might recognize someone, give them a wave, but I really don’t know them. Then, there are those people who actually stop at my house, but never get out of their car… the person who delivers my mail and the person who deliver my paper. Seldom, I will have a person get out of their vehicle to deliver a package, place it on our front porch, and then leave. I will also have guests at times who will come in our front door, sit in our living room and fellowship with our family and we may even share a meal together.

When I consider the number of people travelling on the interstate compared to the number of people who actually walk into my house, the number is very different. However, every person is important. Every person has a purpose and we are commanded to love them. While we may not be able to impact those people on the interstate, those who travel the streets of our neighborhood, we should take every opportunity to positively impact every person that we can.

We are told in Matthew 7:12 to “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”. You may be wondering how I can do such a thing. Here are a few suggestions: Take time to speak to others, always wear a smile (remember that it takes seventy two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile), call others by their name, be friendly and helpful, be genuinely interested in others, be considerate with the feeling of others and always be ready to invest in them, to serve them.

You may be surprised to find that part of your happiness may come from making others feel special.

So, go out of your way, take a detour today to make someone feel special.

Woody

Who Cares?

Who Cares?

We are often concerned about what others think about us. However, we may be setting ourselves up for failure because those who we think are thinking about us are really not thinking about us. In other words, we should not spend our time or energy on issues that are not important.

If we are concerned about what others are thinking, we should first consider a wonderful scripture found in Psalm 40:17, “The Lord thinketh upon me”. What a wonderful thought to consider, that even in the midst of my trials and troubles, God is thinking about me. Have you ever considered what He is thinking? Could He be thinking about what I am wearing—whether He likes it or not? Could He be thinking about my hair? Could He be thinking about what I drive or how I drive? Or, could He be thinking about where I live? The list could go on and on.

Let me remind you that God doesn’t act nor think as we do. While our perspective and understanding of life is very narrow, He is able to see far beyond what we could ever imagine and His thoughts are greater than we could ever imagine.

So, what about God’s thoughts? His thoughts are always accurate. He knows us, everything about us. He knows our thoughts, desires, attitudes and even the unspoken words of our tongue. His thoughts are many. He has many thoughts about each of us. Can you imagine being on the mind of God right now? His thoughts are constantly about us. His thoughts for us are lovely. He loves us like no one ever has or ever will love us.

Are you struggling today about how others may be thinking about you? Turn your focus on the One whose thoughts really matter. Just remember that you are on His mind—right now!

Woody