You get what you give, right?
Well, sometimes....but other times, even if we give our absolute best efforts, all we seem to get in return is a heavy heap of bad news, low grades, sickness, injury, and other deplorable situations.
Oddly enough, it's when we find ourselves in these less than preferable positions that tell the most about our character. In these unfortunate, uncomfortable, and unanticipated capacities, we are faced with a telling choice. Our two options are: (a) allow ourselves to sink deeper and deeper into our solemn situation, swimming in a pool of pity and despair OR (b) pick up our chins, look to God, and escalate ourselves to a position where we may acquire a more positive outlook and thus continue working towards a betterment of ourselves and the world around us.
So, what's our approach to these options when life doesn't give us lemons?
We can all honestly admit that option (a) is often times the easiest and most natural as imperfect humans. When plans fall through, accidents happen and our best work is deemed average, giving up can seem like not only the easiest option but the only one. We throw our hands up in defeat, shut out people who care about us and whom we care about, and wonder if we will ever catch the slightest stroke of luck. The lingering question arises: Will I EVER be good enough?!
The answer is...no
No, none of us will ever be "good enough" to receive the extent of blessings, love, mercy, and forgiveness that God bestows upon us. We were born into this world as sinful, imperfect humans. Therefore, none of our actions will ever qualify to receive God's great love.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S GOOD NEWS!!!
God knows who we are - sinful humans - and whose we are-His. Before we are even formed in the womb, God knows we will live sinful lives, constantly disappointing him and straying from His commandments. Fortunately for us, our Father in Heaven loves us SO MUCH that he still wants us in His world. His love is so exorbitant that he wants to love us DESPITE our sin; he is prepared to be disappointed, and to forgive, and to return us to His path when we are lost. THIS is amazing grace.
In Zach Williams' song "Chain Breaker," he describes our relationship with God in this way:
"If you've got pain, He's a pain taker. If you feel lost, He's a way maker. If you need freedom from saving, He's a prison-shaking Savior. If you've got chains, He's a chain-breaker."
Now that we're reminded of God's amazing grace, maybe we can take a second to look back at option (b).
Reminder: Option (b): pick up our chins, look to God, and escalate ourselves to a position where we may acquire a more positive outlook and thus continue working towards a betterment of ourselves and the world around us.
God, the Greatest Of All Time, knows us, forgives us, and loves us. Whether we find ourselves on top of a mountain or in the lowest of valleys, we should always strive to choose option (b). Choosing option (b) is a cognitive act of thanks to God. We thank Him for blessing us with the gift of our lives and for the life of His son, Jesus Christ. No matter how pitiful our situations may seem, by choosing option (b) we acknowledge that Jesus suffered much more than we ever will, despite his perfection. We, on the other hand, are perfectly imperfect. In our world, our punishment will never equate our sin because of Christ's sacrifice. Therefore, to wallow in self-pity is to ignore the bounteous blessings God has lovingly given to us. Instead, when we feel lost and lowly, we should remember these words from We Are Messengers' song "Magnify"
"God be greater than the worries in my life, be stronger than the weakness in my life, be louder, let your glory come alive."
May you always choose option (b) and may all your lemons be sweet.