Fanning the Flame or Calming the Waters?

By Maggie Lasher

Situations come up in life that are not fair and sometimes not even of our own doing.   My friend was dealing with just such a situation and was very angry at the unfairness of it all.  We talked about how unfair it was, how she did not deserve this.  My wish was to validate her but the reality is that all I did was feed the negativity.  By commiserating with her, we focused on the unfairness of the situation.  I had fanned the flame, not calmed the waters.

And as I was walking away I heard clearly, “Wouldn’t that have been an ideal time to pray?”  Ouch.

When we find ourselves in a place in life of our own making, or one that is simply thrust upon us, our response will determine whether this can be a blessing or a curse.  The Apostle Paul suffered many hardships (see 2Corinthians 11:18-28) but rather than bemoan his sufferings, he saw them all as opportunities to serve Christ:

And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. ~ Philippians 1:12 NLT

When we see only the unfairness of a situation we see only the problems; when we shift our focus to God, we can see opportunities to use that situation to serve.  Taking things first to God helps us shift our attitude and our response to be in line with Christ.

Prayer:  Father God, help us to see You first, no matter where we find ourselves.  You are in control of all things and know exactly what is needed.  Let us turn all our problems and situations over to You so that we are able to set our attitude and our response to help spread the Good News.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

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