He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, September 4, 2017

Nothing New Under The Sun

         I saw a post some time ago that listed things that were wrong in this person’s world…. She was ill, came from a broken family, splintered marriage, was lied to, searched by police, lost her home, dealt with depression and bipolar disease and on and on and on!

            It struck me that this person seemed to be smothering in a serious case of self-pity.  I’ve seen others in this same place and I’ll admit when a person is facing so much adversity in their world, surely they must believe no one else can possibly understand their feelings.  What’s interesting, however, is that each of us have been dealt a life of adversity, albeit on different levels.  It’s largely how we handle our misfortunes that really makes a difference.

            Hurricane Harvey hammered Texas this last week and those folks are reeling from their losses.  Surely they have reason to be immersed in self-pity.  What an awful situation, that will take weeks or even months or years to work through.  Some even lost family members.  Restoration will be horribly slow, painful, costly and depressing!

            When reading Ecclesiastes, it’s interesting to note that ultimately the writer realizes there is “nothing new under the sun.”  All of our situations are of this world and therefore, viewed from our perspective in this realm.  When going through hard times, it’s excessively difficult to see beyond the situation we are in.

            Scripture encourages us to look beyond the complexities of our life in this world.  We are supposed to focus on the world that will come.  When we can look beyond this world, we are turning our eyes on God, rather than on ourselves.  Our “situations” while unpleasant, can be used to draw us closer to Christ, teach us lessons we can’t learn any other way, or become a tool to make our faith stronger.

            Along with diligent prayer and communion with the Father, there are things we can do to “better our situation.” Sometimes it requires removing those things in our lives we know are bad for us, while working hard for what we want most in life.  We need to be thankful for what we have and attempt to enjoy where we are currently.  It’s important to learn something new every day and embrace the challenges life hands us with a positive attitude; and lastly, we need to remember to like ourselves first, because when we don’t like (or love) ourselves, then no one else can either!

            There is a long list of other things we can implement in our lives that will promote positive outcomes, but sometimes it’s hard to see when we are “down,” not unlike the writer of Ecclesiastes.  Life is challenging and sometimes downright hard.  But God’s grace is good.  When we can step back from the problems, make wise choices based on what we’ve gleaned from God’s Word, other Believers and God, Himself, during our prayer time, we have put in place the scenario of healing and productivity. 

            I encourage you to re-evaluate anything you are going through today.  Know there is likely someone else whose situation is much worse than yours or mine.  Negativity feeds on itself, and darkens perspective.  Look for what God is teaching, and remember He knows all….  And there is nothing new under the sun!