The showdown between problems and opportunities

How do you feel about change? Excited? Frightened? Neutral?   How do you feel about new opportunities? Ah, that changes things, doesn’t it? We like change as long as we get to be the change agent, but we might not be so fond of change when it’s imposed on us. I saw the title of a book once that read, “Change is good.  You go first”.  Whoever thought that up must have had lots of experience. I like change, am energized by it in fact, and can’t wait for new experiences to stem from it, even when it means more work or extra effort.  I love change … most of the time. But what do I do when something outside my control disrupts my life forcing me to adapt to a situation that was not my first choice? Life can change in a heartbeat.

When we are faced with circumstances that are not our first choice and we struggle with what to do next, we can sink into despair or we can stretch our resolve and grasp this new opportunity. It is never easy to change perspective when our situations are painful.  A lost job, a devastating illness, chronic pain, overwhelming financial burdens, death of a loved one – none of these changes are what we would choose for ourselves, but they are real.

We ask where is God in all this? If God loves me, how can this happen? How can I be joyful when everything is against me? My stamina has worn down to one thin nerve and it’s ready to snap. Wow! Exhausting, isn’t it? We could so easily give up our faith in times like these, but there is every reason not to. There is every reason to create opportunities from the rubble.  We need a plan, a map, and a compass. Don’t try this alone!

Start this new venture with the words of God in your heart. Joshua 1:9 God’s command is to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  See? Even when we a distressed, even when we can’t see the hand of God, He is there putting the pieces together.  We have to let Him be the master of our map. Isaiah 55:8 confirms that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are Gods’ ways our ways.  We have to put our faith in the sovereignty of God. Whether we want to give Him the control or not, that’s what we have to do. Yes, right down to that irritating situation that has us so frustrated.   God gets to decide anyway, so give it to Him.

What can we do with the problems of today? Can we lay them out on our map, point the compass of our faith to true north and seek God’s help in finding opportunity? Can we bring harmony out of chaos, replace anxiety with peace?  Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Life is tough. Pray hard. Let’s get out there and live in opportunity.

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