We all have control issues – we want to be in control of everything. So much so that when we face a circumstance we cannot control, we experience anger or resentment or feel trapped. And yet, we are not helpless before any circumstance. We have so many choices still within our grasp.
We Own our Attitude
We own our attitude, every single day. Our attitude toward whatever circumstance we face will make all the difference in the world. It will make us despondent, or give us the tenacity to dare to live with joy despite the pain. We are not ruled by our circumstances, any more than the hands on a clock own time.
We Own our Faith
Epilepsy tries to convince everyone in my family from time to time that faith is dead. There is no God, or if he exists he does not love. A loving God does not allow seizures to happen to my precious girl.
He would also not allow Alzheimer’s, or dementia, or strokes. If he loved, he would protect us. And so it is with all of us: our busted hearts see the incongruency of pain in our world, and we feel our faith slipping out of our fingers.
At times it is fear speaking in our hearts, anger guiding our mind. Other times the piercing arrows of painful words spoken by others resurface to mock us in the midst of our brokenness and illness. And sometimes the devil is tossing his thoughts in, hoping we accept them as ours and as truth.
No matter where the source, these thoughts are simply lies.
The existence of deep sorrow can and should cause us to question where our God is, and why he isn’t showing up in the way we expect.
No circumstance has the right to take ownership of our faith, our view of God. It is ours to step away from, lean into, or radically change.
We Own our Joy
Joy is a word whose definition has been corrupted. Joy is nothing more than a deep satisfaction in the blessings of our life in the present moment. And we own our joy, no matter how bad our situation becomes.
No circumstance can steal our joy. Only we can give it away, or forget it still exists. Some days, joy will be hard to find, but we always have the choice to stay in joy.
We Control What Matters
Sometimes life will make us feel like we have lost control of everything. This is just not true. We own everything that matters: our attitude, our faith, and our joy. Nothing and nobody can take these from us. We must cling tightly to these.
Who is in your life that you KNOW you can rely on, no matter what?
We all have at least one person who will be there for us, everyday. You are not alone. If you are struggling with your attitude, reach out to this person and allow them to help you adjust your attitude. You can rest in the knowledge that your true friend will love you into a better place, and no judgment or discouragement will escape their lips.
What are the touchpoints of God’s presence in your life?
As the nation of Israel was crossing the Jordan River on dry land, each tribe took a stone from the middle of the river and placed it in their camp. These stones represented the memories of God’s faithfulness for each tribe. Each Israelite could look at the stone and remember how God had protected them and provided for them in the desert, and in this remembrance have faith for God’s future blessings stir up in their hearts. Take some time to mentally gaze upon the stones of remembrance in your own life, so that your own faith can be stirred.
Where have you seen beauty that took your breath away?
I will never forget the week I spent in Zion National Park as a high school student. Every day, I woke up surrounded by the majesty of creation. Nothing can take the memory of that beauty from me. Thinking back on the thunderstorms atop the mountains each night brings a smile to my face. Consider where you have found joy.