Posts Tagged ‘difficulties’

The Other Way to Handle Difficulties

December 7, 2009

I have to confess–my first inclination when I face difficult circumstances is not to trust God. Usually I get frustrated. Of course, that’s just a nice way of saying I get angry. If it’s not frustration or anger then it might be worry or discouragement. None of them are good or helpful responses.

Parenting sure presents its fair share of difficult circumstances. And every one is the potential catalyst for sending us into a tailspin of negative emotions.

One of my children has dealt with a series of medical issues. Fortunately, none have been serious, but I tend to worry when a new one (or old one) pops up.

Another child was arrested and fined over $1,000 for the offenses. Poor choices present us with an opportunity to lose our cool pretty quickly. (Fortunately, I didn’t in this case.)

One of my daughters has struggled greatly with our move to Fayetteville last year. She misses her school, her friends and our old house. I hurt for her.

Finally, it was tough to see one of my kids discouraged by being the smallest on the team and not getting much playing time.

Your difficult parenting circumstances may be different, but I have a suggestion for handling yours and mine today. In fact, it will apply to whatever your facing today–parenting issues, financial concerns, job stress, a health problem or whatever. The answer is found in Psalm 100:

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Whatever you may be facing today, choose to follow the instructions in this psalm.

Verses 1 and 2 tell us to worship Him. There are no qualifiers on the circumstances. It doesn’t say to worship only if things are going well. The psalmist simply says to shout for joy. Worship with gladness. Come before him with joyful songs.

Let me encourage you to put together a playlist of worship songs on your iPod. If you don’t have an iPod, put it on your wish list for Christmas. I know of nothing better than great worship songs to lift my eyes off my circumstances and get them on God.

Verse 3 instructs us to know that the LORD (Jehovah) is God. He made us. We belong to Him. He is our Shepherd. We’re never alone. We’re never left to figure things out on our own. We belong to Jehovah, the One who has everything under His control.

Verses 4 and 5 tell us to praise and thank Him and also gives the reason why. I know it’s hard to thank God when it feels like things are falling apart, but choose to praise His name and thank Him. Why? Because He is good, He is loving and He is faithful. You may not see it or feel it at the moment, but choose to believe it anyway and let that belief lead you to praise and thanksgiving.

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that God is pleased by our faith and rewards us when we seek Him. You can know that He is good. He does love you. He will always be faithful to you. It won’t always be easy, but don’t doubt those truths.

You and I have a choice when difficulties come…and they will come. Probably today. We can get angry or worried or discouraged. We’ve tried that though. We know how that turns out.

So what if instead we choose to worship, to remember we belong to our God and He’s in control, and to praise and thank Him because He is good, loving and faithful?

Will you give it a try and let me know how it goes?


Confused Them With Confusion

April 16, 2009

When I was playing high school football, film day was on Monday. I never looked forward to Monday. No matter how well I played, there was always something I knew would be caught on film. After one particular game, which we’d won, I’ll never forget my head coach telling us how he thought we’d won the game. He said, “We confused them with confusion.”

You’ve probably had conversations with your kids that would lead you to believe they were trying to confuse you with confusion. One of my children once told me she was being disrespectful because Iconfused was disciplining her. Of course, I was disciplining her for being disrespectful. I tried to explain that using that logic was like telling the police officer you were speeding because he pulled you over. She didn’t get it. Clearly we weren’t communicating.

Two days ago, I was checking one of my other daughter’s blood pressure. We needed it for a camp she’ll be working at this summer. The display on the electronic cuff showed normal blood pressure, but an irregular heartbeat. I checked two more times with the same result.


Grace and More Grace

March 23, 2009

I received an email from a friend today. She was telling me about some of difficulties she and her co-workers were going through. Layoffs. Illnesses. Car accidents. Deaths.

I was reminded once again that everyone is going through something difficult. Sure, the degree of difficulty is different, but difficulty is also relative, isn’t it? (more…)