David conquered a lion and a bear before he ever faced the greatest challenge of his lifetime – Goliath.
And prior to governing all of Egypt, Joseph ran Potiphar’s household.
Have you ever considered that previous battles in your own life were preceded by similar ones? Battles that we survived and ones that we developed stronger faith through.
As I contemplate my own health challenges at the moment and my role as a health advocate for my daughter, Sarah, I am reminded that there were former struggles that prepared me for such a time as this.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I used to take my father to all of his medical appointments and have helped him during his recovery on a number of occasions. I am his medical power of attorney and have advocated for him countless times.
And, of course, being a parent of three children predisposes one to seeking the best treatment for another.
Prior to this, after the premature death of our mother twenty-three years ago, my younger sister and I became chief health advocates on behalf of our 98 year old grandmother. (Yes, our maternal grandmother survived our mother by two and a half months!)
Life has a way of revolving in cycles, doesn’t it? If you live long enough, cycles repeat themselves and you glean important lessons and wisdom.
I am thankful for the lessons of faith, courage, patience and compassion that I have learned over the years. When we are facing the storms of life, it is very unpleasant and we look for the nearest exit. But, if we keep our eyes focused on the God who calms the seas, our faith will grow and we will be stronger because of it.
When we were rear ended by a drunk driver in May 2014, I determined very early on that I would focus on the positives. I was keenly aware that my children were watching my responses to the situation and that by highlighting the pain and negativity, it would only serve to prolong our healing process.
Sometimes we need to reframe a situation, to step back and focus on the unchanging truth of the Bible and God’s promises to be with us.
During difficult times, it is helpful to keep a “Thankfulness” journal. It is hard to remain discouraged when we keep our sight on God’s blessings.
Each of us have much to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective. We need to realize that while we may have needs and wants, most of us are more wealthy than a large percentage of the world.
Often, the feeling of being out of control is a seed of discouragement. To counteract this, concentrate on what you can do to improve the situation.
Yes, you can’t change your spouse, but you can work on you.
Yes, you may not be able to avoid surgery, but you can occupy your mind with positive things in the meantime.
Yes, you can’t make the neighbor turn down their loud, obnoxious music, but you can turn on your favorite music and work on a hobby that brings you joy.
Yes, you can’t make your co-workers like you, but you can invest your efforts in being the best employee possible.
I’m not suggesting mind over matter. I’m suggesting changing your focus/mind in order to change your reality and future. Life’s realities often begin in the mind.
I am reminded of a story I heard a while back:
A lady who happened to be blind was being relocated to a new room in a retirement home. A nurse asked her how she felt about this change as she was about to be taken to her new living quarters. The blind lady replied, “Oh, I absolutely love it!” The nurse was astounded. How could you love it already? The blind lady said, “I already made up my mind that it’s going to be wonderful.”
Her situation hadn’t changed. She remained blind. But she was not blind to the fact that she should have a positive mindset in order to be happy. I think that’s where many of us flub up. When bad things happen, instead, we tend to focus on all the negative things and lose sight of the possibilities of a positive outcome.
So, if you find yourself in a raging battle today, friend, remember that, “This too shall pass.”
I think that’s another fallacy we often believe. Life is ever changing. Bad things come and go. Good things come and go. Ebbs and flows.
We will be in a better position to face today’s battle if we remember, like the Israelites did in the Old Testament, all of the previous battles along with their lessons. They would build monuments in the desert where God performed miracles in previous battles. We, too, should do the same. Remind ourselves that the same God who delivered before, will again, deliver us!
“Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.”
~ Psalm 107:6