In our day-to-day life, there are many victories, some defeats, and other just neutral circumstances that we encounter. Everyone has to deal with the inevitable day-to-day challenges that may seem to be out of our control.
People may do things that make life more difficult and unpleasant for us. Many natural occurrences, such as storm damage or frozen water pipes, may force us to do work that would not otherwise need to be done. Someone near and dear to us experiences an illness and we must rearrange our life to take care of them. Others we love may pass away and though we did not choose for those things to happen, we are forced to deal with them.
When we are going through a hard time we seldom think of the victorious times we have had in our lives. The bad times have a way of drowning out our good experiences and can take over our very existence. It is much like experiencing a serious injury; it’s hard to forget the pain and be thankful for what doesn’t hurt.
I was talking to someone this morning about the duration of our modern work week. I grew up on a saying: “we work from sun up till sun down.” This time of year that could constitute a very long work day, however, farmers know that they must make hay while the sun shines, and it does not ruin their day when they have to do it.
It was only a little over a generation ago that our work week was much longer than 40 hours but now it can be a hardship to have to work more than that. Could it be possible that almost everything we deal with, in the course of our day, is measured by our perception and expectation? Are we really defeated when things don’t work out as we planned or is that feeling of defeat just our disappointment?
What if it were possible to be joyful in tough times, even when we don’t remember the victories because defeat and disappointment have absorbed our thoughts?
Jesus was preparing his disciples for His death, telling them that the hour had come for his departure and they would be scattered. But in John 16:33 He added: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
It seems that there can be good cheer in the middle of tough times and that peace comes from a totally different source than our circumstances. Maybe we need to rethink our expectations and realize that many different things will happen in the course of a day.
These are the things we learn at the Gathering Place every Sunday morning at 10:30 and Wednesday evening at 7. Come and join in.