It is all on how I look at it. To the question, “Is it half full or half empty?” Like most Biblical balances, the answer is—YES!
Life always delivers a choice; I can look at it God’s way and thrive under stress, or I can look at it my way and play the victim, “poor me” role and be destroyed.
Jesus pointed to the harvest and said: Lift up your eyes and look! He looked at the multitude and saw them.
First he wants me to see what is in front of my face, right now, right here. He does not want me to go off inside my head and fuss with tomorrow yesterday and elsewhere. He says, “Take NO thought for tomorrow, for food for clothes for, – – – for anything.
Next He wants me to tear my focus from what I don’t have, what I can’t do, from who isn’t in my life, from how messed up the people in my life are,from what I am not, and from what God is not doing the way I think he should. He wants me to stop taking the positives for granted, stop finding fault, stop comparing, (2 Corinthians 10:12, they…comparing themselves are not wise) stop wishing things were different and start taking what is and doing the little that I can and leave the outcome to him.
Instead I need to ask:
What can I do.
What has God given me?
Who has God put in my life?
Who am I in Jesus?
What have I seen God do in my life recently?
Let’s take some “negatives” and practice seeing the half full glass in the same situations.
Do I have few people in my life? –A chance to rely more on friendship with the Lord. A chance to relate to other lonely people and show myself friendly Prov 18:28. I have more time to spend in God’s Word.
Rejected by close friend? I can relate to David, “My own familiar friend lifted up his heel against me.” I can join in the sufferings of Jesus “they all forsook him and fled, Colossians 1:24. I can feel with the apostle Paul “no one stood with me” 2 Timothy 4:16. I can see it as an opportunity to pray for those who despitefully use me, “Father forgive them, do not hold this against them”
Financial loss? Chance to see God provide and to reset my priorities, “my life does not consist in the abundance of things that I possess. Luke 12:15 My situation of need provides an opportunity for others to reach out and minister and for me to practice humility in admitting need and accepting help.
Illness? Here I see an opportunity to get my priorities straight. In Jesus’ day everyone pressed on him to heal their diseases but he wanted to heal their lost and sinful souls. I can learn about being OK with his sovereignty by asking him for healing or for grace to deal with it. Sometimes he says OK sometimes, later, sometimes he says no as with the apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh sometimes he gives us what we demand and sends leanness to our soul. Recently I was almost dying with Covid low oxygen and I remembered, by God’s grace, to thank him for the illness and ask for healing and ask to learn any lessons he was teaching and to leave the outcome in his hands.
The Bible says that I should cast ALL my cares on him because he cares for me. This means that if I fail to cast my cares on him I must question his care for me.
I find that I must go beyond putting up with the reality I am currently facing with all it’s legitimate pain and loss and unfairness; no, I must see and thank God for his positive intentions and cooperate with him in letting him produce them.
I must not be pollyanish and deny the difficult and painful; but I must see my God as big enough to allow these and say thanks anyways, seeing both the good in the difficult and the presence of pleasant comforting positives at the same time as the problems. I must look for what God is helping me do, giving me to use and enjoy, people he is working through, the abilities he has given me to use for him and others and the serendipities that show he knows and cares and is involved.
“Lord, teach me to say “Thank you for this”, “Thank you now”, “Thank you always no matter what!”