Thursday, January 24, 2013


“Don’t waste time attracting yourself to hurt and pain.” These words from Joan Anderson’s blog chastised me the moment I read them—that is where I had been investing my time. Conviction!

  • Two days previous I rehearsed my hurts to my husband.
  • The following day I complained to my friends.
  • My journal faithfully recorded my slights—in case I forget. 
I set myself up to be a magnet for hurt and pain. When I allow my experiences to define my attitude, I feel unwanted, used, mad, surprised (in a negative way), scared, disappointed, discouraged. Not fun! Thankfully, Joan’s words jolted me out of my reverie.

Other words slipped into my memory, “If we can’t see God work, we think He is not at work.” Thank you to Mark Bates, our pastor.

Henri Nouwen says there are only two disciplines we need to practice: solitude and community. The words of my two friends (community) pierced my heart; my time with God (solitude) over the next several days transformed me.

For me, it wasn’t perspective—forcing myself to see my glass half-full instead of half-empty. It wasn’t “giving thanks in all circumstances”. I Thessalonians 5:18. It wasn’t reviewing truth I already knew, like God is sovereign. It was allowing my friend’s words to lead to the transforming power of God’s Word.

Jesus’ benevolent action one Sabbath was criticized by the Jews. Jesus responded, “My Father is working … I am working.” John 5:17. Because the Jews were so stuck on their religious laws—what they deemed was right—they couldn’t see the kindness of God. I  was so stuck in my pain, I couldn’t trust the kindness of God.

Another passage I pondered was Paul’s words in Ephesians 1. Some phrases from verses 15-19 caught my attention—to highlight a few, God would enlighten my eyes; I would know the hope to which I was called; I would experience the greatness of His power according to the working of His great might. God is not only working, He is working in a mighty way. Some day I will see and share it.

The circumstances that led to my unwanted, used, mad, disappointed feelings have not changed. Because of community and solitude, my heart is transformed. I relax; I trust again; I pray with hope; I experience joy. That is the attraction I want to live with.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22, 23

1 comment:

  1. No, we cannot allow circumstances to define our attitude --- my car got towed because I parked where I should not have on Saturday --- $307.20 was the fine and towing fee --- ouch! That was one sign I needed to see but did not. God spoke to me that evening in the devotional Jesus Today on page 72 it says "I am training you to be an overcomer - unfettered by circumstances" Good way to look at things for sure. Thanks for your wonderful words --- I like the Lamentations ---- good thing these things don't "consume" us!