Wouldn't it be phenomenal to turn on the morning news to hear ISIS muslim barbarians have stopped killing Christians and seek forgiveness for beheading children? Wouldn't it be wonderful if CNN announced that all the illegals coming into our country decided to stay home and build their own communities? that America's debt was forgiven by it's debtors? that the rest of the world, to whom we've sent trillions of dollars over the history of our country, had repaid all that money to us to help us with our 17 Trillion-dollar deficit?
Unfortunately, on any given morning, we awake to a barrage of bad news delivered with the weather report: Ebola springs up in more countries. A young Sprint car racer is accidently killed when he angrily jumps out of his car to confront a fellow racer. Mexican illegals murder an off-duty Border Patrol Officer who is fishing with his family. Thousands gather in protest against Israel for defending herself from the 3,488 rockets fired upon her since July. ISIS terrorists taunt that they're coming here to fly their evil flag above our White House. Missouri rioters burn down stores in their neighborhoods and rob their community of jobs as well as businesses to supply them goods and food. And we wonder: "how long before that happens in our town?"
What a way to jumpstart our week, huh? I don't know about you, but I find myself so much better off if I take a few moments and dwell on God's goodness and mercy and thank Him for another day of life, another day to praise Him before I even turn on the news. Praise fuels a heart which seeks God's presence. And yes, I mean presence, not some faraway mystical out-of-body experience. When we talk with our family or friends we do not need to be catapulted to the moon to connect with them. But when we take a moment to tell another how much they mean to us, it makes their day. It opens the portal of communication. If it didn't, we wouldn't be so affected by a smile, or conversely, a scowling frown and grumpy attitude. It's the same with our relationship with God.
When I choose to begin my day with thoughts of me, me, me--and all my sorrows and pain and struggles of yesterday, or my upcoming challenges, I leave God out. Then the day begins with a succession of trials and obstacles--emptied of optimism. If I allow the entire burdens of the world to fill my mind, there's no room for hope.
I don't know about you, my friends, but I need God. I need His strength to meet my weakness. I need His competence to meet my incompetence. I need His joy to meet my sorrows, His assurance to meet my doubts. He helps me endure the chaos in the world. He is my only hope in the hopelessness that life offers at times. Often God meets me with a specific reminder from His Word, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me..." Psalms 138:8; "Fear not, for I am with thee..." "...lean not to thine own understanding...". Other times He gives me a friend who writes a word of encouragement--often meant for others in the facebook of social media--yet, there all the same for me, too.
Life is a beautiful opportunity to show the world that God is love and is still the instrument of renewal. We can each have daily routines, but God fits new things, new people, new circumstances into our day-- every day. We merely need to open our eyes and hearts to them, and to Him, to see them.
When I am grateful it changes my attitude. It opens me up to be a part of God's plan and purpose. This world is filled with evil. It comes at us from every direction. But we have a God who wants to use us to make a portion of our world better for those around us. Sometimes I have to wonder, am I listening to the morning news, reading about the latest catastrophe, and questioning God's watchcare? Am I blocking out His voice and failing to see His goodness? Are you? If the world is dragging you down, let God lift you up.