'How did you get sick?!' was my Father's reply this morning when I told him that I was twenty-six. At least I'm not so old that my hearing's gone like some people. :)
Today I am twenty- six, and I do not feel much different. However, sometimes when I think about how much has happened in the past twenty-six years I get concerned. A lot has changed and happened! Can I handle another decade or two or three or four or five? That makes me sound like my life is really hard. It is not. I just have average first world problems for the most part mixed with blessings galore. I can sometimes focus on the few negative things even though I know life is beautiful thanks to Christ.
Steve, my husband, pointed out today that I can dwell too much on the negative. Steve is generally an optimist and I love that I'm married to him. He can always turn my raincloud into sunshine. I prefer to think I'm a realist though. The reality being that there is so much sin, and life is hard sometimes! It can be overwhelming. Steve also pointed out that its in those times of feeling overwhelmed that I'm listening to myself not preaching the truth to myself.
So after pondering this, and deciding that he was right again, I thought of ways to get my focus off of negativity and onto Christ and heavenly things.
1. Recall scripture. I love that so many times there's the phrase: "But God..." in the bible.
example: Ephesians 2:4-6 '4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,' (ESV)
That phrase: "But God" can come after any negative thought and suddenly you're thinking about how the power of God trumps anything bad that can happen or is happening.
3. Christ. Just remember the hope there is in Christ.
4. Seek Fellowship. Don't hide in your basement all alone with your thoughts, go talk to a solid brother or sister in The Lord who will preach truth to you when you can't. Be with the church.
5. Appreciate God's creation.
This was this view I woke up to this morning. Steve whisked me away to Niagra Falls for my birthday and just being around such a majestic and powerful display of God's power in creation made me thankful and amazed.
11 Psalm 30:11-12
'You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!'
These pointers are nothing new, but hopefully you are reminded of ways to be encouraged or how to put whatever is heavy on your heart into perspective.