Choose Life


I wonder if others have noticed with me that grumbling about circumstances often only makes the situation worse.  Plus, the negative focus depletes energy.  Over the years I have wasted mountains of energy when I focused on unpleasant circumstances surrounding  me.  Stewing and fretting about my busy schedule or an irresponsible student or unexpected deadlines only sinks me further into the mire.

I’m not talking about the periodic need to have someone understand and care about how life is for me at the moment. I am talking about those times when I whine because I wish for others to join me in the mire.

Last week was one of those weeks when the walls seemed to cave in on me.  Even now, I am tempted to recount the impossible schedule forced upon me. Fretting and stewing, I took the time to grumble to a co-teacher.  Grouching can actually feel good – for a little bit.

Then, I heard His quiet voice and I repented.  After all, is the Lord’s hand slack concerning His promise to care for me?  What if I would actually dare to trust Him in this area of my life and heart?  The repentance and consequent choosing to (falteringly) trust Him changed those impossibly full days of deadlines and obligations in ways I could not have imagined.

One way was how He released me from the tyranny of feeling pressured to attend an anticipated event.  He granted the inner freedom to simply choose to not go!  By foregoing that event, I ended up receiving a much greater gift:  a quiet heart and a blessed time of refreshment with special family interactions.

What if, instead of giving way to inner fretting, I would speak aloud words that bless the Lord, words affirming that His grace is sufficient, words blessing the very circumstances that force me to acknowledge my total inability to live life on my own?  Scripture says words are important.  They hold the power of life and death.  

If I make a rule for myself that I may never tell others about the difficult things that I am facing, this is also a fleshly endeavor that seeks to turn my heart from daily, hourly listening to His voice and trusting Him.  To speak or not to speak is His call to make.  But this I know:  He has called me to bless and not to curse not only the people around me, but also my circumstances.

And speaking words of blessing opens my eyes to seeing life differently.  Lord, grant me to choose life.

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Matthew Mast

7 years ago

This is worthwhile and needful–how easy it is for us to complain! I’m challenged by the call not only to refrain from complaining, but also to speak words of praise to God.

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