Peaceful Problems

I was getting ready to drive to town with my young daughter, her beloved cello and my sister, who was visiting for the weekend. A cello performance was to be the highlight of our day. Stopping at our mailbox, I reached inside and noticed a bulky envelope with an attorney’s return address. Just its mere thickness brought dread. My sister offered to open it.

As she read aloud, my stomach acid churned. It wasn’t good news. Getting sued never is. She finished reading the pertinent parts and gave me her trademark assessment of life’s bad stuff: you’ll get through it. She was right, of course. And the letter just meant I was at the beginning of the getting through it process. I couldn’t control the players in the game, but I could make one big, important choice. How was I going to let this affect me?

Problems don’t ruin your life—but your attitude can.

The months following the letter’s arrival repeatedly tested my resolve to remain optimistic. I’d succumb to needless griping which made the dark clouds worse. Ever notice how the dark clouds we create also make it cloudy for those around us?

Harsh words don’t shorten a problem’s duration it only deepens the gloom. I’ve learned my negative words will always last longer than the problems ever will. Now I use problems as a chance to keep practicing my coping skills. Since we can’t avoid all of life’s problems, why not set ourselves up to win? Victory isn’t just getting past the problems; it’s reigning supreme while going through them.

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” 1 Cor. 10:13 MSG

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