Monday, August 11, 2008

TUesday IOW - It's all in how you see it

Today's Quote is:

“Problems can slow us down temporarily

but they don’t have the ability to stop us.

Only we have that power.”

~Wayne Cordeiro~

I have several pictures that I like to use for sermon illustrations when I talk about perspectives. One of the pictures is the head of Christ and the other is Noah's Ark, but you can't see the images because the pictures are made up of tiny bursts of color.

When you look at them the first time, it all seems to be a jumble of shapes and colors without a purpose. But after staring at it for awhile, you can see the outline and ultimately the detail of the hidden pictures.

Today's quote reminded me of those pictures because our lives are filled with problems. At first when we look at them, all we can see are the chaos of our own emotions like fear and doubt, worry and inferiority. We try to piece together our own solutions and end up with thousands of loose ends.
But whe we look at the problem from God's perspective, we can cut through the chaos and see His solutions. The problem doesn't lie in the situations we face, but in the way we view them.

Dr. Richard Dobbins of Emerge Ministries in Akron, Ohio teaches a model for emotional and spiritual healing called "Praying Through." He urged those he counseled to pour out their hurts to God until they were empty inside. Then he taught them to open up their hearts to allow God to help them reinterpret how they saw their crises. The problem itself wasn't what was causing so much pain for these counselees - it was their limited view. Once God was allowed to help them see and rethink their problems, they were able to deal with them in healthy and creative ways.

Several years ago I was working full time as a florist. I loved the work and we relied on my additional income. But after a particularly stressful Mother's Day where I was on my feet for about 36 hours straight, the arthritis in my knees flared up to the point where I was unable to walk for several days.
I felt afraid and discouraged. In my eyes the problem was insurmountable and just I knew I'd have to give up a job I enjoyed. We would also suffer a loss of the much needed extra income. But as I prayed through my chaotic emotions God showed me it was an opportunity to pursue my other dream - that of being a writer - something I didn't have time for because of my heavy work schedule.

When I let Him reinterpret the problem for me, I saw the hidden agenda of God - exciting lessons in trust and provision I never could have experienced on the path I was traveling.

My knees are slowly getting better, especially now that I am losing some of the excess weight I have carried for a long time. I could probably even go back to work at a 9-5 job, but after tasting some successes in pursuit of my writing dreams and after watching God's miraculous provisions for us over these last 2 years, I think I'll stick to the path He has cleared for me.

In my own strength and by looking at the problem through my eyes I would have missed one of the greatest adventures of my life so far. Arthritis in my knees can't stop me - only my attitudes can. Thank You Lord!


This week Karen is hosting In Other Words at her site In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus. If you'd like to play along, simply blog about the quote on your site then hop on over to Karen's place and leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box.

Be sure to leave Karen a comment and check out the blogs of the other participants while you're there to see their take on the quote.


MiPa said...

Thanks for your "perspective" on this quote Bonnie. I much needed to hear this.

Karen said...

The first thing we see is the choas, how true. Praying through our problems helps us see past that chaos. Thanks for sharing today Bonnie and congrats on the weight loss progress.

Patricia@Typing One-Handed said...

Bonnie, that is a great perspective on problems. If we (read me here!! ;-> ) could back up a little and try to see the big picture, maybe our road would be a bit smoother. Or at least we wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion that everything is dismal. I like that bump in the road analogy!

Denise said...

Wonderful take on this quote, bless you.

Laurie Ann said...

Such a great post! Yes, the first thing we tend to see is the chaos of our own emotions when we face our problems, but you have reminded me to look for the shining face of God in them. Thank you for sharing your heart and for staying on the path God has cleared for you. You are a blessing!