We all have problems. Whether it is something as simple as juggling a schedule to get the kids picked up after school or a life threatening disease, there will always be obstacles to overcome. It is how we approach them and how we relate to them that will make the difference in whether we let them take over our lives or make a difference in someone else’s life.
I watched a story on the news about a skier who had a paralyzing fall and learned to ski sitting down. She didn’t just sit down on the couch and give up. She learned about a way that she could still pursue her love of skiing even with her disability. Now she is making a difference in other people’s lives by promoting skier safety while pursuing her passion. We see these human interest stories all the time, but, when something happens to most of us, we park ourselves in the mully grubs and sometimes never come out.
Sometimes these circumstances are of our own making and sometimes they are not. If we have done something stupid (human) which caused the problem, we beat ourselves up even more. Lets say you spent your life as a professional stunt man and, now that you are older, every joint in your body hurts. Or maybe it was overeating, over spending, working in a high stress occupation, lack of ambition, procrastination, or just plain laziness. There are a million and one reasons to regret and feel sorry for yourself.
King David had done some pretty stupid (human) things. He committed adultery, brought the woman’s husband home from battle to try to cover up the fact that he (David) had gotten her pregnant, then, when that didn’t work out, had the man sent to the front lines to a certain death. His punishment was, among other things, that the child born of this relationship would die. When the child was struck with illness, and for seven days, David fasted, wept and prayed. But when the child died, David got up, cleaned up and worshiped the Lord. There was nothing more he could do, so it was time to get up and go on. Yes, I am sure he was upset. He most likely blamed himself for the child’s death. He knew he had done wrong. But it was now time to get up and get over himself.
Each of us has that choice to make every day. We can sit and wallow in our self-pity or get up, wash our faces, and get on with it. I know that there are those with seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them. Lives can be one step up and two steps back until you wind up in a hole you can not climb out of on your own. David didn’t go it alone either. The first thing he did was to worship (2 Samuel 12). He got out of himself and turned to the one who could help him. He didn’t go whining to God about how bad life treated him, he praised Him. He worshiped the Lord.
Maybe if we spend less time looking in and more time looking out, the circumstances wouldn’t seem so huge that they can’t be overcome. I realize and know from my own personal experience that the circumstances can be overwhelming at times. Three years ago, I had neck surgery which was supposed to fix a problem, but instead left me paralyzed in my right arm. When the doctors said there would be no more healing, that is when I began to get the use of my arm back. I was rarely positive throughout the eighteen months it took to recover, but I did learn about faith and grace. Sometimes the lessons take longer than we expect or hope for.
If God be for us, who can be against us.