What a difficult task we have in purposing to ‘stop and smell the roses’ in this busy, self-indulgent culture of ours. The most plausible explanation for this hurried human condition perhaps lies within the imperfect existence that we all inhabit. Since the fall of mankind, we have inherited a tendency not only to make immoral choices – but also to focus on the negatives in any given situation. Certainly, from day to day, it is easy to think positively and remain content when all is going our way. Yet, on the contrary, it requires a deep inner strength granted only by our Creator to feel joyful and confident when we face multiple trials. The devastating loss of a loved one, a friend, a material possession, or another cherished treasure in life can really topple our world if we are not inwardly equipped for such tragedies. How then is it possible to weather the inevitable pitfalls throughout this lifetime while maintaining a hopeful outlook?
As a further complication for humanity, in this age of health epidemics, feeling chronically ill is a special challenge for so many. Over the millennia, we have acquired an escalating cascade of physically dangerous microbes, life-sucking parasites and severely toxic chemicals and metals. The lucrative processed food industry – as well as our medical establishment’s overzealous use of vaccines, antibiotics, and other pharmaceuticals – have greatly contributed to this disturbing issue, destroying the delicate balance the Creator designed within our bodies. As a result, an increasing number of us have chronic health conditions and wonder how we can possibly be grateful for our plights. We wonder, like the biblical figure, Job – how we can deal with such suffering – as we continue to love and serve our Lord. The answer to this tough inquiry may actually be found in the words of a simple old Christian hymn: “When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost – count your many blessings, name them one by one – and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” As these wise lyrics advise, taking stock of all that we have – rather than dwelling on the shortfalls – can continually enable us to praise God for our basic essentials and physical capabilities that we tend to take for granted.
Thoughtfully consider that analysts have observed in studies how the wealthiest and healthiest are not necessarily the happiest of people. Very often in fact, it is the truly desperate among us who most readily receive the knowledge of God. Most assuredly, numerous scripture references instruct us on finding contentment in our poorest and sickest conditions – even viewing these trials as opportunities to grow in character and to magnify the greater strength of the Almighty. Ideally, securing a solid relationship with Him, the most proficient of all problem-solvers, will enable us to experience the greatest comfort – and often total solutions – for whatever ails our bodies, minds and circumstances. His Spirit can envelop our souls with thankful hearts that will sustain us through any tribulation we encounter and provide us with ultimate hope for complete wholeness for all eternity!
Contented Quote: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – St. Paul
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