empowering women on a quest for more

Prisoner to Our Woes or Praise God?

one-of-those-daysCan I be brutally honest for a moment? Today has been one of “those” days.  Maybe you’ve had one of them, too. Allergies have been aggravating and all I’ve wanted to do is crawl under the covers.  But a girl can’t just do that .. not with a house to run, kids to teach, appointments to keep, and meals to make.

So as the sinus pressure and congestion weighed me down, do you know what I was tempted to do? COMPLAIN. You know that slippery slope we can slide down so easily if we just entertain those thoughts: “It’s not fair I have to go through this.” “I’m so tired.” “When will this ever improve?”

As the temptation crept up though, I actually diffused it pretty quickly this time with GRATITUDE. I had to remind myself of a few things based on past experiences and His truth: “I am victorious through Christ Jesus.” “God constantly renews my strength.” “I have seen prayers answered in His time repeatedly throughout my life.”

Do you know how I arrived at that attitude? By thinking about the story of the Israelites in the desert in Exodus 16. We read how they complained about “starving to death”, even though God had just delivered them from slavery and bondage. How quickly we can respond to this account by saying, “What were you complaining about? God rescued you. He led you and kept you safe.” Aha, a light bulb just went on for me!

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. What you and I walk through is not meant to be minimized. Our struggle is real whether it’s a health issue, broken marriage, or dealing with financial pressure. Those things can just wreck a person’s day. BUT God is with us and helps us through it all. We can choose to be a PRISONER to our problems or PRAISE our Savior for His love and faithfulness. Even when we don’t understand the details, we can always trust our Source, the One Who is in control.

I reached that conclusion by thinking about Paul and Silas in Acts 16.  Those servants of God didn’t commit a crime. In fact, they were imprisoned for setting a girl free from a demonic spirit. I imagine how easy it must have been for them to be confused and feel sorry for themselves. Instead, “they were praying and singing hymns to God”, maybe about His amazing grace or how great is His faithfulness. Let’s just say my complaints didn’t stand a chance after such a powerful reminder.

If today is one of those days or maybe these past few weeks and months have felt as such, remember we have a choice.  We can either complain and be held prisoner to those woes OR we can express gratitude with praise to God. His care for us is far deeper and wider than we could ever imagine.

~Joyce

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