Friday, October 18, 2013

The Bitter Road or the Better Road?

When someone screams at you, you want to scream back.  When they lay on their horn, you want to return the favor... or at least I do.  When life seems to slap you in the face, my first reaction is not to turn the other cheek. I want to do it back!  Unfortunately, that's not what Jesus wants us to do.  I think there's a reason for it.

In my last blog I wrote about our landlords and how they were not very nice right before we left.  I told you the truth about how I really felt and how it would have felt good to knock some holes in the wall or something similar.  At least I "think" it would have felt good.

Have you ever been in one of those situations when you react out of anger?  It's really hard to turn the other cheek when someone is yelling so loud they spit in your face or when you go and buy a vehicle only to have it break down 2 days later and find out that you may need a whole new engine!

God is definitely refining me.  I'll admit, I don't like being put through the 'purification' process or being pruned.  It's no fun and can cause a lot of stress, worry, and anxiety.

I was working out this morning to one of my little 20 minute videos when I heard this:  "If you want to see change, you have to put stress on the body.  You have to push through when it hurts, you can't give up when it gets hard because that is exactly what needs to happen in order to build muscle."

Wow, yes God can even speak through workout videos!  When it gets tough, I want to find a way around the rough spot.  In my devotional, 'Jesus Calling', Sarah Young says this: "If you focus on the problem or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course.   Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey.  Before you know it, the obstacle will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it."

Now I can say AMEN to that because He has proven that to be true in my life.  Raising support to go on mission with HCJB Global was very difficult in the beginning.  It seemed like such a high mountain to climb.  But when we began to focus on Him and NOT our situation, He began to do the work for us.  When we decided not to retaliate and leave the house in great condition despite our landlord's behavior, God blessed us by returning half of our deposit back just hours before leaving Ecuador.  And when we decided to not be bitter about the vehicle we just purchased and to accept it as a "lesson learned" we got a call from the Ford dealership a few days later telling us that they could not find ANYTHING wrong with the car and that they weren't even going to charge us for looking at it!!!  When does that ever happen?!

I guess we never know how God is going to work it out.  But one thing I do know is that bitterness can make you sick!  It's like poison running through your veins and before long you can let it ruin not only your day... but worse, your attitude.  And no one wants to be around someone who complains all the time.

As my Grandma said, "You can choose to be happy.  Or, you can choose to be sad.  I choose to be happy."  I think I'll do the same, or die trying ;-)

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