June 5, 2020
Finally, a visit to the park. But as hubby, grandkids and I entered, the picnic tables were blocked off. Rope also surrounded the playground. What to do?
But a distance away, across the green grass, under a tree, a bench waited for us. We settled in and a soft breeze caressed our face.
“This is the life,” my granddaughter said.
I agreed. Before the quarantine, we took so much for granted and now, this visit in the warm sunshine became a new-found treasure.
Suddenly, the sun went behind clouds, the breeze turned to wind. Then something brushed my arm.
“Something fell on me,” I said to hubby.
“It’s a leaf. Remember, we’re under a big tree.”
As the wind shook its branches, one by one, a few leaves landed on me.
I tried to ignore them. But with each tickle from the leaf on my skin, I lifted it and between my fingers, I noticed their texture and shape—some firm and perfectly formed, others bigger, dry and withered.
The leaves were a reminder.
Those fluttering leaves reminded me of all that fell in my life—trials, pain, then joy, peace and contentment—each with its own texture and shape to impact my world.
The same thing has happened to many during this pandemic. Leaves of adversity have fallen. Although unexpected, they don’t discriminate. They land on all—rich, poor, black, white, good, not so good. All are affected in some way.
But not all sink in defeat. Those who thrive, persevere, and end up better than before do so not because of what they do. But because they avoid these five habits that turn to dangerous traps:
Trap No 1. Wake up with thoughts of what’s wrong, what they’ve lost or what they might lose.
Trap No. 2. Count on government to be the provider.
Trap No. 3. Ponder about what life was like before the virus, lamenting their broken plans.
Trap No. 4. Agree with social media posts that emphasize the gloom and repeat the pessimistic view.
Trap No. 5. Enter into the habit of listening to the nightly news and take to bed what they just heard.
These snares have carried many to anxiety, worry, depression and some, as statistics indicate, to suicidal tendencies.
There’s a better way.
Conversely, those who are riding this pandemic on the vehicle of hope, with optimism and expectation, have developed a healthier spiritual immune system, bounce back from illness, and become stronger.
We can all do the same by learning to read, believe, internalize and trust in these four truths:
- When feeling alone with our problems, our uncertainty and insecurities, God turns it to confidence: “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6)
- In the midst of a crisis, pandemic or diseases, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
- I will not be discouraged and will have restful sleep because as I go day by day, God made this promise, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- No matter what destruction may threaten me and my family, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” (Psalm 46:2)
Our faith has to equal God’s help, ever-present and unwavering. And with full trust in Him, we declare the best will come, His shield will stand and
Lord, how often I let the world dictate my view, my thinking, and my attitude. I will change my habits and will embrace a solid belief in what You say rather than the gloom that echoes in the world. In Jesus name
What habits do you need to change these days?
Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.
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