Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything just goes wrong?
This has been one of those weeks for me. My week began with a car accident, continued with soaking my laptop, then proceeded to kill my phone, and finished off with a visit to the doctor for a gnarly infection in my finger. It was just one of those... weird.... weeks.
I did notice a few things in the midst of the weirdness however, and I'd like to share them with you:
1) On days, weeks or even years like this, it is be really easy to feel thwarted- but you're not. Not really.
Let me explain, if you're a Jesus follower you have a guaranteed outcome to everyone of your circumstances and it goes like this: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
That, my friend, is good news.
As much as I loathe christian cliche statements (but lets be honest they are cliche for a reason because they are truths worth repeating) ALL things work for your good. If we are willing to make a heart-shift from feeling thwarted and alone to a position of faith where we face our circumstances with our eyes fixed, with confident expectation on the goodness of our God, suddenly that which was meant to cause harm becomes a gateway to greater things in the Kingdom. This is "more than conqueror" training 101, and passing is pretty simple: We must learn to do is shift our heart stance into a position of faith and watch what God does.
2) Let's not give the devil more credit than he deserves people!
Satan loves glory. That was his problem from the beginning. So even if what you're going through is spiritual attack, make a point to inform yourself, him and anyone who is listening, that God is at work in your situation and He wins period. And then move on.
Scripture makes it pretty clear how we deal with the schemes of the enemy: resist, and he will flee. That means we must actively make choices on how we respond.
Every time the enemy tries to lie to you, turn it into a faith-filled prayer to Jesus. Whatever the enemy says you lack, turn away from the lie and ask the God of exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask, think or imagine for that very thing you were told you didn't have.
And while you're at it, why don't you extravagantly praise and worship God for who He is in the midst of your circumstances. He's already at work, and ever worthy of praise, so celebrate!
3) Perspective really matters, so get Heaven's perspective on what you're dealing with
Your perspective determines how you perceive things. (Deep, I know, but track with me). If I am walking through the streets of New York City, every building I will encounter will feel enormous. They are so tall and impressive and sturdy that I subsequently feel very small, not very significant and pretty weak in comparison.
But, if I were to fly over New York City at 20,000 feet, all of those giant buildings seem like nothing more than a remarkably detailed mini set for a movie. Their former impressiveness has been diminished entirely by perspective.
The same is true of our circumstances. If our perspective is from the position of what we are capable of, all of the situations we face will seem insurmountable. But if we can get God's perspective on what we're walking through, everything changes. Things don't look so big, because you recognize God is bigger.
4) You can find the hidden blessings, or look at the obvious challenge, but it's your choice
All of the things I experienced this week were some pretty obvious challenges: A car accident is no laughing matter. I need my computer and have discovered that I am absolutely lost with out my phone. And having a finger that has developed it's own pulse isn't exactly a plus. Those are all facts, pointing out the obvious, and definitely not looking any deeper than surface level.
But here were the hidden blessings:
I don't have to pay a dime to get my car fixed. My insurance is covering everything, even the deductible AND will pay for a rental car in it's entirety while my car is getting fixed. A bill upwards of $3600 was covered entirely by God's provision in my life of good car insurance. Blessing!
My computer dried out and functions just fine! I had a choice, to worry about the cost of replacing it, or put my trust in God as my provider. In previous seasons of my life I would have worried incessantly over my lack of finances and how much it would cost to replace my computer. My response to this event is an indicator of growth. Instead of worrying, I chose to trust and rest in God's heart toward me. Not only does my computer work, but I have evidence of good fruit growing in my life because God is at work in me! Blessing!
My phone debacle resulted in a cheap upgrade to a newer phone and a free iPhone 4 given to me because of a previous account. By selling the extra phone, I will not only pay for the upgrade but even have a little extra cash in the process. Blessing!
My finger, well, I haven't yet figured out what the blessing is behind having a finger that is so swollen that I can't touch anything with it. But, I'm sure I'll find it.
The bottom line is this, in a week of chaos and weirdness, I found blessing and favor and provision from my Father who loves me. So today, this week, this month, when the weirdness of life hits and you're not sure which way is up. Stop and re-set your perspective. It might just change everything.
"Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus...." (Hebrews 12:2)