By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
Sooner or later, we all learn that life can be difficult. We might have financial problems, health problems, marriage problems, family problems, or some other problems. The mistake we sometimes make at these times is that we focus on what is wrong, and we forget what is good in life. When we do this, it has a negative affect on us, and also on those within our sphere of influence.
This mistake is especially common among elderly persons, because the elderly often struggle with more health problems than do young persons. For many of them, their sight, hearing, and mind deteriorate. They can’t walk as well as they once did. They have heart problems. And if they aren’t struggling with their own health problems, they often are having to deal with sickly spouses. And these health problems can lead to financial problems. So, the elderly can become cranky about life in general.
But the same thing can happen to those who are not elderly. The difficulties they face can result in their having a negative outlook on life.
Whether we are young or old, or somewhere between those two points, we need to remind ourselves that, in spite of our problems, there are good things in our lives, too, and we must focus on them. We find what we look for.
Nick Vujicic is an example of learning to not dwell on one’s problems. This 30 year old man was born with no arms and no legs. Talk about being dependent on others! Think of it: No arms. No legs. In his youth, to him it meant no future. At the age of 10 he thought about killing himself. He struggled with depression when young, and did so even in adulthood. With his problems,who wouldn’t get depressed?
But Nick chose to make the best of his circumstances. This requires not dwelling on the fact that he has no arms and no legs, and is, therefore, very dependent on others. He has become an inspirational speaker who travels around the world to encourage those who have physical disabilities. He challenges them to make the best of their circumstances. As to be expected, people listen when Nick speaks!
In spite of his severe disabilities, Nick is a college graduate. He surfs. He rides a skateboard. He plays soccer. He skydives. He got married, and his first child might have been born by time you read this posting. He refuses to let his circumstances keep him down. Here is a link to his website: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/
Although I might not agree with all his opinions, there is much that can be learned from this man who knows what it is like to struggle each day of his life.
In comparison to Nick’s problems, mine are very minor. Maybe yours are, too. But whether they are minor or major, we can choose to dwell on them, or we can choose to dwell on what is good in our lives. After listing some of his struggles, the apostle Paul said he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. (Philippians 4:12 and 13.) With Christ’s help, we can choose to dwell on our blessings and make the best of our circumstances. As Psalm 103 says, “Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” As an old Gospel song says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”