Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Surviving vs Thriving

When life is going well it's easy to feel hopeful. But when life brings you trouble, feelings of hopelessness seem to follow. It's in these times, however, that we can most experience the presence of God. We can experience Him in any difficult situation; when health fails, the loss of a job, a spouse going to heaven, or any number of other tragedies that may confront us.

What many of us need to do is stop surviving and start thriving.

Don't let difficult circumstances stop you from making the most of each day you are alive. Realize that even when times are tough you can do much more than endure the current situation. You can actually experience life to the fullest, even in the midst of difficulty. When we remeber that life is a gift from God and decide to embrace it, all things change for the better.

This past year has been one of my most difficult as a pastor. If I could stand before the people and explain what I was doing I'm sure they would be sympathetic. However, a leader cannot always do that. You can only trust that you have exhibited integrity and leadership, and hope the people share your vision for the future.

I now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I would, but it was not easy. Everyday for this past year I would thank God for all my blessings. I tried not to see my difficulty. I would repeat the phrase "Today is a gift from God, thank Him for it." And I would. I was reminded of the song "Through It All". One verse says "If I never had a problem I wouldn't know God could solve them. I'd never know what faith in God could do."

The direction of life should always be forward. As the Psalmist said "I will look to the hills from whence came my help; my help cometh from the Lord." I feel today I am on good footing. I didn't think that a while ago, but I trusted and it has paid off. I don't think, I know, great days lie ahead. So in the valley or on the mountaintop, I will always praise you Lord!

I sure do appreciate you good folks! God bless you!

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