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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Attitude is Everything

Five minutes. What's five minutes? That depends on our attitude toward our circumstances. If it's all we've got left to live, five measly minutes are nothing. If it's what have to wait to flee from a burning house, it's an eternity. Yet, reality is that it's the same five minutes.

Notice how circumstance impacts the way we view reality. It's this way with endings. As the old year winds to extinction, we tend to take stock of our life, of the year. Television focuses on famous deaths and catastrophic losses. We hope next year will be better. We don't like endings much, unless it is a release from pain or say, the completion of a prison sentence. Then endings are good.

Let me challenge your thinking: Endings are also beginnings. We cannot avoid change but how we view it is entirely up to us. It is not the cessation of a thing that is the root of the problem. Take King David, for example. We sometimes feel like the whole world is against us, and in his case it was literally the truth. David scurried through caves and wilderness fleeing for his very life. No one justified his innocence, and his army was comprised of the area's most degenerate, misfit, malcontents no one else wanted. A handful of bedraggled nobodies is what David had to start a kingdom with. Mom wasn't around to cheer him on, no family to speak of, no one to put a supportive arm around his shoulder and offer encouragement. He scavenged for food and shelter for not only himself but his ever-growing army--including women and children. He could have buckled under the heavy weight of his aloneness but what does Scripture record?

1 Samuel 30:6 tells us of once such instance. "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

Think about that last line. David encouraged himself. And who did he look to? The Lord his God. That's the only answer. It is a stark reminder exactly where David's relationship and priorities were: with God, to God, for God. Many Psalms record David's despair, anguish, being betrayed, and turmoil but, he concluded by encouraging himself and giving praise to the One who mattered most.

While it is a sad reality that we may literally have no one to come alongside us for support, there is always a loving God standing, waiting, ready to encourage. If our attitude is to focus on our aloneness, we will surely fail and depression will follow. Our eyes are great deceivers. What we see is not reality. What is unseen is real.

If our attitude focuses on God's constant fellowship and presence, hope reigns, trust develops, and joy will come. Endings do not limit God. He is still Almighty. He is expert at creating good from hopelessness. David's life is a testament to the fact that God is the creator of bright new beginnings. Welcome God into your darkest hour, then let Him create beauty from the ashes of your circumstances. It's what He does best.


Cindy Scinto said...

Great article, Debbie. It is so true--we are never alone. So many people are by themselves and need to know that God is real. Thank you for this reminder!

Jane said...

Your article is spot on - A+for Attitude - the right one that is! I am so thankful for the Psalms and David's faithful witness to a faithful God, because those words bring great hope in our hours of aloneness or despair. You, through his words, reminds us once again that we're never alone when we look to God the Father.

Michele said...

Endings are also beginnings.

Welcome God into your darkest hour, then let Him create beauty from the ashes of your circumstances. It's what He does best.

Thank you for taking time to write all of these much to learn.

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