On Tuesday, I wrote the beginning of what I hope will be a long series of posts on being positive. And as it is with many things on this blog, it's personal.
Unfortunately, I've spent big parts of my life being mad at the world, angry at others, and just an all around unhappy person. I could point fingers at those that were to blame and most people would have justified me in feeling that way. As I've gotten older, I've gained some wisdom and some perspective. As cliche as it is, I know that things could always be worse and I should always be thankful for what I have. I've seen others struggle through far worse and come out stronger than ever imaginable. I'm constantly amazed by those around me who persevere. I just spent the past two days at a work conference hearing from those who work in the field of child abuse. Talk about the epitome of unfair. I've heard stories from adults who survived abuse at the hands of adults who were supposed to love and care for them. I've spoken to those that have investigated and prosecuted those cases in hopes of giving a voice to the voiceless and restoring some sense of justice to an unjust world. It is in being witness to the struggles of others that my strength has increased.
I know that the experience has a profound impact on the growth of my own strength to push through tough times. But I know that it only grows because the root of my strength lies in God. My trust rests solely in God and I know He will carry us through difficult times. His love is never failing and He is always present.
During the sermon at church this Sunday, our preacher shared a quote that stuck with me: in this life we will not find explanations but we will always find God's promises.
The Bible is full of those promises. My favorite (it hangs on the wall in my bathroom and I look at it every morning) has always been Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Trying to find answers to the "whys" in this world will only leave us more frustrated and brokenhearted. Because there are no answers to those questions in this life. But there is something much, much better. God's promise. His promise that YOU are taken care of by HIM. That He has amazing plans for you, better that ones you or I could ever dream up. That even in the midst of the struggle and the uncertainly, there is hope. And that's a guarantee.
So, don't despair. Instead, copy this sentence below, add your name and post in your car, on your computer, on your bathroom mirror or fridge. Then make a copy, add the name of a friend who is struggling and share it with them.
For God knows the plans He has for you, ________________. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Take heart. Better days are just ahead.