Friday, November 20, 2009

Dealing With Difficulties

by Donna L. Watkins

Life is full of them ... trials, troubles, tragedies, tribulations, difficult seasons of life. How we react to them is key to our survival and navigation through them.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Blue Ridge Country Cow
If we don't learn how to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), then we just become more and more bitter with each event. I also believe that bitterness of soul makes for a bitter life. We tend to attract the environment we feel comfortable in ... and in a sense, if we're bitter, that's the environment we feel comfortable in.

Similar to those who grow up with alcoholic parents, a dysfunctional and sometimes abusive lifestyle that any child would want to escape. However, statistics show that those children generally marry somebody with similar (generally not identical) issues. We mentally want to be somebody different, but we don't know how to live life outside of the dysfunctional view of things, so we attract somebody that we're comfortable with. And the beat goes on ...

I like what Louisa May Alcott says: "I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship."

When we give our lives to Christ, we are given a new life. As with any gift, we don't have to take it. We don't have to believe that things can now be different with Christ in us and we in Christ. We don't always spend the time needed to see how to implement this new lifestyle. We can read a lot of Scripture and do Bible studies, but we need to be doers of the Word, not hearers only, so it takes time to internalize each principle and facet of our new lifestyle options.

Being a Christian doesn't protect us from the same troubles the world has. The promise given us is that Jesus will be with us every minute and step of the way. His comfort can make the difference in our joy and peace through the journey. Nothing stays the same, life is always changing and challenging. Our birth certificate came with no guarantees. Eventually, we will have to let go of everything when we die, so why not learn to hold all things lightly, instead of tightly, in our hands?

We have a special little kitty that God sent to me 12 years ago and awhile back we had to go to the Emergency Vet in a nearby city because our cat had stopped eating right before the holiday weekend. She will do that for a day or so at times so we weren't concerned at first. She's just a wee little thing at 8.5 pounds and has never had an absorbed interest in food. The weekend was long watching the clock in 30 minute segments to give her droppersful of water. At 6 days without a morsel of food, we couldn't wait it out and headed to a strange vet. Not an easy situation for me or her.

I'm not fond of medical situations since my mother was taken into the hospital for a minor foot issue and was given diabetic meds when she wasn't eating the meals, so she went into a diabetic coma and never came out. I found out the details from her very kind doctor who had talked her into her first hospital visit rather than outpatient treatment. She died on Christmas Eve. Only five months later, my father was in the hospital and ready to be released the next day and died an hour after I was told of the release. No explanation. I do know my daddy was totally lost without my mother and had Alzheimer's progressing, so mercy it was to have him be in Heaven instead of this earth. Blaming is not a healing force.

I don't remember having any bitterness about the situation since I know the timing for death is God's and His mercy is beyond our understanding. I had more self-condemnation, like there was something I could've done to not allow it to happen. Isn't it funny how we sometimes think we can actually control our own lives and the lives of others? I've not done that well with plenty of other situations in life. Seems death is more understandable to me than troubles.

Our choice in all situations is to believe that God knows best for us and all the intricate connections surrounding each of our lives. His purpose for us is to mature us in Christ so we can live eternity in a better manner than we have on Earth.

Believing God knows best ... trusting He has only goodness in the situation for us ... easier said than done, I know. Many people have blamed God and accused Him of being mean and uncaring. There is no one to turn to that will bring peace into your life once you turn away from God.

We do reap consequences for our actions. If we judge we will be judged. God is just as any good parent should be, but He sent His only Son so that we could have comfort and peace and love and mercy and compassion all wrapped around us in the arms of Jesus.

What I do is continue to ask Jesus to show me where He is and I see Him in the situation. I did that with our vet visit. Waiting for an hour for the vet in the exam room, I continually asked Him where He was and my mind would picture Him somewhere. It was a great comfort to know He was with me and I knew it was a comfort to Squeek also -- even if only because I was much calmer. Animals do pick up on our energy and anxiety.

Not too sure about vision and imagination? Consider how much Scripture relates to visions in the Bible. That wasn't just for those people. God gave us to ability to visualize so we can see Him in our lives. Don't you remember as a child, when you heard all those Bible stories? You would picture the scenes happening as the story was read. Was that evil? God says we are to be like children, maybe because children have such great imaginations.

We can accept His comfort or we can turn away in anger and blame. Which one do you think will heal your heart? What kind of picture do you see of God and Jesus? Does your picture agree with what the Bible says? Maybe it's time to go back to those situations that have left scars on your life, and ask Jesus to show you where He was in the situation. Make time for this. Your assumptions have not brought you any peace in life. Why not try something different?

Related Article: Vision and Imagination

Hearing God's Voice
The book that is having a monumental impact on my life and way of living is one called, How To Hear God's Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler. The clear and detailed content with loads of Scriptural backup, along with the interactive process of applying what you are learning, is yielding a lot of spiritual fruit in my life and the life of my husband, the counselor, who is now promoting the book to everyone he knows. Your view of the present, past and future will never be the same when you begin to commune with God as He always intended us to do since He walked with man in the Garden of Eden. For those who yearn for a deeper relationship with the Father, this book will take you there if you read and apply it. The author promises that and I do too!

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
The link URL is:

No comments:

Share This Post