For starters, I acknowledge my glass-half-full outlook on life. I can fairly easily see the positive in situations and I don’t tend to stay down for very long. This definitely doesn’t mean that I skip through life without stubbing a toe, taking a tumble now and then, or even falling flat on my face, for it is through those challenges I have grown in my faith. I am who I am because of what I’ve gone through and what I’ve learned from the process. I’m sure I am not alone in this, because this is life. We all face things, good and bad, and our attitude determines whether or not it benefits us or holds us back.
I was recently driving my kids to school, when we encountered an unexpected road block. A large semi had broken down in a very inconvenient spot, causing us to stop and turn around, which put us a bit behind. I felt more sorry for the truck driver who needed to figure out his situation. As we turned a different way, we came up on an intersection where the light stayed green an unusually long length of time. I said out loud, “Thank you! I’ll take it!” My son asked me who I was talking to, to which I replied I was thanking God for his favor. I then went on to explain how important it is to acknowledge the favor we encounter each day, to hopefully avoid feeling entitled to it or grumble when we don’t get it. I honestly thought I was imparting such wisdom to him, and that he would remember this moment and apply this same awareness in his life moving forward… which he might, but his words that followed became the lesson for ME instead!
“Sometimes favor comes from hard things, Mom. I recently read The Hiding Place by Corrie TenBoom and in her book she explains how bad things became good while God protected them during the Holocaust. One was fleas. The area they were kept in was infested with fleas, but it turned out to be a blessing for them because the guards left them alone to avoid the fleas themselves. And another time, she and her sister didn’t want to be separated, and her sister was sick. They prayed God would help them stay together, and she ended up getting a swollen leg. This allowed them to stay with each other. Neither of those things are good, but it was God’s favor for their situation.”
The eyes of my heart were thrown open! Again, truth coming out of my child, perfectly put for me to receive. Of course I know that good comes from bad, and it’s through these hard things that we grow stronger in our faith… but I truly don’t know if I ever stopped to think about seeing the favor in the midst of the hard thing. I more applied “favor” to how God pulled me out of the hard thing versus allowing the hard thing to be what truly blessed my life as a result. He was absolutely right in his understanding, and I rejoice that his heart had already processed this. It served as a fresh reminder for me, and it became a moment that I will never forget and will apply to MY everyday thinking moving forward. (Humbling role-reversal!)
Romans 5:1-5 NIV “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
If you have walked with the Lord for any amount of time, hopefully you’ve figured out He is trustworthy and has a plan of hope for your life. I challenge you to train yourself to see this goodness in everything. The good and the bad. For it’s only after you’ve walked down the path a bit further that you have the perspective to look back and see what you’ve made it through, or possibly avoided altogether. But either way, He has never left you to walk it alone. His favor surrounds you. Train your eye (and your heart) to see it, and be thankful. And if this is completely foreign to you, please ask a friend to tell you more. I would jump at the chance to share my story with you and help you to see yours.