Friday, February 26, 2010

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries--and Pits!

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Have you ever been through a painful situation that you can do nothing about—a situation that you just have to live through and make the best of? Loss, grief, sorrow, pain, betrayal , regret--they touch every one of us at some time in this life, in one form or another.

A long time ago, I was kidnapped by the Satan’s Angels bikers. It almost seems surreal to me now. The situation brought a lot of fear, pain, grief and regret. It was a hard thing to live through. There were changes that came about because of it and I had to choose. The pressure was indescribable at the time, and the possibility of death loomed over me. Yet, here I am on the other side of it though I am not the same person.

That situation changed me forever. The very thing I thought would bring death, brought life instead. When confronted with death, you set aside shallow issues and deal only with the reality and facts of life. It makes us better people in the long run. When you’ve journeyed through and come to the other side of an originally bad situation, the end result can be gladness and wisdom. Why? Because we’ve adapted; we’ve learned something about ourselves and about others; we’ve grown and changed!

I guess that’s why Solomon tells us that perfume only lasts so long, but we take a good name to the grave. We all love money, ease, beautiful things—but do these things last? I want the memory of me to be sweet in people’s minds. How do you choose to be? What is important to you? These are things we should think about during this vapor of life.

We tend to think that prosperity (in any form) is good, and adversity is bad, but prosperity and adversity both come from the same place. God has designed life to be full of the unexpected and we need that.  It’s good to realize that neither are inherently good or evil. In fact, adversity can do good things for you, but prosperity can bring about undesirable effects. What may seem good or bad at the start may bring the opposite result at the end. It’s vital to remember that when going through life.

Trials and afflictions teach us the most. It’s the sandpaper that smoothes, the burn that cleanses, the kneading that softens. They have the capacity to change us for the good. They can make us stronger and cause us to be merciful and understanding, because now we relate on another level. Our focus has changed.

Depending on the situation, sometimes a sound rebuke will help us more than agreeable smiles. It takes a good friend and a strong person to be willing to tell us the truth, but sometimes that’s just what we need.  Agreeable smiles can bring us to a dead end when truth is lacking. It’s pointless.

Wisdom is a defence, just like money is. Still, God is the one who brings things about. It is Him with whom we have to do. He does this for our good. To help us find Him—for without Him, we are only living “things” under the sun.

This portion was based on Ecclesiastes 7: 1-14

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