Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
At the start of a new year, I was thinking to myself what a bad year 2019 had been for me, however, there was a lot to be thankful for in the midst of the trials:
I would say that I did, in fact, have a good year. It’s all about the way I view what I went through and knowing I wasn’t alone going through them that makes the difference. If I focus only on life being negative, then that’s probably what I will see. Each person’s viewpoint determines whether they can find joy in their life, despite what they’re currently going through.
In the article posted by thegospelcoalition.org, “4 Reasons We can be Thankful in Times of Trouble,” we find ways to look at our circumstances in a more positive way, such as because we’re not alone through the trial, because we have hope, because God is sovereign and because we have God. Though it may feel like we are alone walking through a trial, doesn’t mean that we are alone. Many other people have been strengthened by trials and so can we.
So, the next time you find yourself walking through a trial, remember there can be positive ways to consider our circumstances. One of the only ways to find the positive in our life, may mean that we need to keep our perspective from only pointing to the negative. This can help us walk through the trial and not find ourselves wandering through a desert when a rainstorm is just around the corner.
Look at your trial as a gift and you are bound to find yourself being thankful.
Psalm 68:6 – God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
It’s wonderful to have company.
It’s wonderful to have them visit you.
It’s wonderful to have coffee with friends.
It’s wonderful to help someone celebrate their birthday.
And then they were gone.
You bask in the glow of smiling faces as they sing Happy Birthday to you. It was thoughtful for them to come to you when it’s difficult for you to go somewhere on your own.
And then the party is over. The kitchen has been cleaned up. The trash is taken out from all of the wrapping paper and boxes. You’ve started your thank you cards.
And then it sneaks up on your – The silence.
Time feels like it’s standing still.
What do you do now?
Life is back to the way it used to be.
And there is a deep hole growing in your heart. So you let yourself sit in your recliner all day. At least it was supposed to be only one day. But it moves on to day two and three. The emptiness surrounds you.
Your friends came. And they didn’t have to.
Your friends and family do care about you.
I know the deep hurt in your heart, but is it really a deep hurt? Does it have to be a deep hurt.
There’s something you can do:
Pull up the memories you just made and those from before.
Remember the smiles and laughter.
Remember the small talk.
Remember the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.
Crisistextline.org post the article, “How to Deal With Loneliness.” The article provides the signs of loneliness such as low energy and brain fog, discusses the types of loneliness such as situational loneliness from moving to a new city, causes of loneliness such as you lost a friend or loved one, then steps to deal with loneliness such as get out there and say hello to new people.
Someone else is going to feel lonely.
Someone else has a deep hole in their heart.
And the next time you have a gathering, you’ll be better prepared to share your life with them.
It’s in the way they look into your eyes.
They see a new sparkle.
They see your renewed hope.
And when you share your reason for hope, it makes the other person smile and believe in the impossible.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God knows that by ourselves we can be lonely, so he sets the lonely in families. I’m so thankful for that. So, the next time you’re feeling lonely, remember that God is with you and will cause your loneliness to dissolve away.
Psalm 81:6 - He says, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.”
Sometimes I feel like life is rushing. I feel so busy and need to move fast.
I imagine a Taskmaster behind me running after me chasing me lifting his whip to hit me across my back. And so, I run, and I run, and I run. But when exhaustion comes upon me, I finally decide that I’m going to turn around and tell that Taskmaster that I need to take a break.
So, I turn around and who do you think the Taskmaster is that’s chasing after me lifting his whip to hit me across my back:
It’s only me that’s Chasing Life
It’s only me that gets in the way
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God doesn’t give us more burdens on our shoulders. He lifts the burden off of us. He sets us free. Remember that when you feel like a taskmaster is pursuing you.
Isaiah 46:4 – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
As I find one more gray hair, I can feel myself dropping to my knees because with each hair, I not only lose respect for myself, but I also notice people who no longer appreciate the gray hairs that grow and don’t believe God is saying that even when I’m old and have gray hairs, God will sustain me.
Losing respect can be a New Year’s crusher. Can you hear the street sweeper heading in your direction? It’s loud, but many times we pretend we don’t hear it and continue down that street of loss of respect.
When we look back even 25 years ago, the wisdom that older women and men have was still considered a jewel.
But now, in 2020, it would appear that old age means:
Here are some ideas about how we can better find ways that an older generation still can contribute to the workplace on harver.com in their article, “How to Manage Generational Diversity in the Workplace.” This article discusses many of the difficulties that management has to deal with now that we have four generations working together and the differences in how each age group is affecting the work force and what each age group has to offer such as diversity and whether they have a strong work ethic. It discusses in detail the problems such as higher risks of conflicts, lack of mutual understanding, different working styles and communication gaps. Last, the article discusses how generational diversity contributes to a company.
Finally, after reading the information in the article above can help us understand each other better. The Bible verse above shows that God takes a different approach and opinion on each age group and the value he places on seeking out those who are older and showing them respect.
Isaiah 43: 18,19 – Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Now that a new year has begun. I have to ask, did you make New Year’s resolutions?
I’d like to not just flippantly make a resolution, but one if tackled, can change my life all together.
Here are a few of the most common ones:
You get the gist of it. So, what’s my resolution:
Life can be full of the “awesome” things. Find yours today. It can be kinda fun to do, as many changes can blend in together to make a new you this year. People.howstuffworks.com gives us some ideas about new year’s resolutions such as stop procrastinating and just do it, learn to take risks, forgive someone, and learn one new thing. Find more ideas in the article, “10 New Year’s Resolutions Might Actually Keep.”
Now, go out there and make your list, keep it small, believe it can be accomplished then strive for it. Take a look at the Bible verse above, it challenges us to forget the things that are in the past and believe that God is doing a new thing in your life. God will make the way for you, if you believe that streams can flow in the wasteland of your life. Can you feel the shower starting? It may be scary to begin with, but it can be just the start you need to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.