“… Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
There are always choices to make. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever had one? Nothing life changing or threatening happened. Things that happened were disappointing, surprising in not so nice a way.
Our checking account took a hit. A big old grand slam. Things needed fixed, appliances broke, unexpected bills came in, and expected bills were higher. I had choices. It gave me a headache.
There are two ways to react to days like this. There are always choices: pity or praise. It is easy to give in to the bad and wallow in pity. Praise is harder to do. Are you an easy-way-out or a tackle-the-hard-part kind of person? Which road do you take?
Of my choices, I could have had a good old-fashioned pity party. Like the song goes “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to … You would cry, too, if it happened to you.” It would have been easy to sit and cry. I could have been depressed without much effort.
It is a natural reaction sometimes when a string of bad things hit—why do they always come at the same time? Another activity would be to add refreshments to my party, like ice cream or candy, and seek comfort in them. Those, unfortunately, provide fleeting comfort and no lasting relief, like a band-aid.
The second of my choices, praise, is the better one, so I chose it. I know what you’re thinking. If I’m having such a horrible day, why should I praise God? Lots of reasons, my friend; many of them as a matter of fact.
I praised Him first because He has this. He has this situation and this day, but most importantly, He has me. I praised Him because these are all material and monetary issues.
No one is hurt, sick, or dead. There is no tragedy. I am fine. I still have my husband, my parents, children, grandchildren, family, friends, pets, and home. Do you see what I mean? The things that matter most and make me happy are all still here.
I praised Him because He knew about this long before it happened. He knew what I needed and when, then He provided.
Once I started thanking and praising God because He is my Creator, Abba, it was difficult to stop. He is omnipotent and powerful. He can do all things. He loves me, cares for me, heals me, and provides. I saw birds outside and marveled at how creative He is to have made so many different ones.
My mood improved. Things came into a clearer perspective, and the bad news of the morning became little more than a bug I swatted away. Sure, I will need to deal with all the issues later, but next time, I won’t be surprised.
I will be prepared. God has calmed me, given me time to think with a level head, and stands beside me. He holds me. Praise is much more than a band-aid. It is healing. It is a way of life.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Next time you are having one of those days, remember your choices and choose praise over pity. Contact a prayer partner—or me if you need help praying through. Remember, God is powerful and has this, but more importantly, He has us. Don’t sing about crying at your party, sing praises to your Father.
What will you do with your choices?
Which road will you choose?