Food For Thought…Overcoming Sadness

Our sisters over at Girl defined wrote this.  I love it, check out their website here

One Must-Have Recipe for Overcoming Sadness

By: Bethany Baird

In 1967, after graduating from high school, Joni had her fateful accident that would change her life forever.

It was a hot July day so she decided to meet her sister Kathy and some friends at the beach in Chesapeake Bay to swim. They unloaded their stuff and settled down for a fun day of swimming.

They didn’t waste any time getting into the water.

Laughing and smiling, Joni took a big jump and dove into the sparkling fresh water. She immediately knew something was wrong. She couldn’t move her body. Everything went numb.

Without realizing it, Joni dove head first onto a large rock that was hidden just beneath the water’s surface. She was quickly rescued by her sister Kathy and taken by an ambulance to the local hospital where she remained for several months.

Joni Eareckson Tada’s life was changed forever that fateful day in July, 1967.

She had broken her neck with a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels. She was now a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were busy preparing to go to college in the fall, Joni was having to accept the fact that she would live the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

She couldn’t do anything for herself anymore – not even brush her own teeth.

Joni’s rehabilitation was very hard for her. She became extremely angry at God and struggled with depression. On many occasions she wanted to end her life.

She couldn’t understand why God would let something like this happen to her. She had her future planned out, and now everything was changing.

Can you imagine being in her situation?

After some time passed, Joni turned back to God and accepted her accident as God’s will for her life. She even thanked God for her life, and His plan for her. She had a strong desire to be used by God and to reach out to others.

Joni slowly began sharing her experience publicly and soon became a popular speaker. In addition to having a speaking ministry, she became a successful commercial artist, learning how to draw and paint by using her mouth! She also became a bestselling author and an actress, starring in the film version of her own life story.

Joni’s life was a testimony to the world!

Instead of spending the rest of her days wallowing in her sorrow, she decided to glorify God by accepting her condition and sharing the love of Christ with others.

She even thanked God for her accident.

She also thanked Him for the ministry opportunities she had as a result of it. She was grateful that God chose to use her life to bring glory to Him in a powerful way.

How would you handle your life if you had a tragic accident like Joni did? Would you curse God or thank Him for His will and plan?

The truth is, most of us will probably never face a tragic accident like Joni did, and yet we still take so much for granted.

We take for granted our legs to walk with and arms to use. We take for granted brushing our own teeth and being able to get dressed in the morning.

Joni made the daily decision to glorify God with her life, in spite of her tragic disability.

She chose to thank God instead of complain and grumble at him. How often do you grumble and complain when your mom asks you to help with something as simple as washing the dishes? Or maybe you argue with your parents when they ask you to help sweep the kitchen.

I’m sure Joni would be extremely grateful for one more day to use her arms and legs again. Even if all she did was wash dishes!

As Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Do you find yourself thanking God for the many small blessings you have in your life, or do you find yourself wishing you had more?

I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to give you a more grateful spirit.

Write down a list of every blessing that you have in your life. I did this the other day and it really opened my eyes to how many blessings I truly have!

Here’s a great start of blessings: God, the Bible, parents, siblings, a house to live in, a car to drive, education, food to eat, clothes to wear, etc.

And that’s only scratching the surface!

It’s hard to be ungrateful when you’re busy counting your blessings. Take some time today to write down every blessing that comes to your mind – and keep the list going throughout the day as things come to your mind.

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Food for thought…God uses your trials

Praising God in the storm

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30

Sometimes we are going through a fiery trial or one of life’s crazy storms and we cant see the woods beyond the trees. We can’t imagine why we would be going through such a trial, and we cant see any good in it.  We’ve all been there.  Usually I start kicking and screaming and asking God why I am going through something like this.  I want to know the reason behind it.  Don’t you? A lot of times we cant see beyond the curve in the road, we cant see where its going or why, but God can and he is in complete control.

Sometimes our trials are used not only in our lives but in the lives of others.  You see, you are God’s representative in this world.  People will form their opinions about God based on what they see IN YOU! Most of the time they watch how you react to a hard situation, how you react to a trial.  They don’t really care how you react when its smooth sailing and or when they can see the blessings in your life.  No, they don’t care about that.  They care how you react when hard things come your way, and they will form their opinions about Christianity based on that.

Take Pauls life for example….In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas get thrown into prison for preaching the gospel.  Imagine your life right now, getting thrown into prison for preaching….what would you do? I’ll tell you what I would do…I’d be begging them to LET ME OUT!!! I’d be contacting everyone I know and complaining about my hardship, and I’d be kicking and fighting to get out. (realistically that is probably what I would be doing, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.) What did Paul do? Acts 16:25 tells us that at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.  What? They just got thrown into prison, and they are singing to the Lord? Why? Because they trusted that this trial was God’s will for them at the time, and so they praised Him in the storm.

Then there is a great earthquake and the doors of the prison were opened.  The Philippian jailer woke and saw the doors open and supposing the prisoners fled, he drew his sword to kill himself.  Paul tells him that they are all still there.  Then we see the jailer say “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The jailer and all his household then get saved.

You see, God knows what He is doing.  He used the trial in Paul’s life to lead someone to Him.  This jailer saw Paul’s reactions in this trial that he was in, he saw that God was real in Paul’s life, and he wanted what Paul had.

Maybe the trial that you are in today is to lead someone else to Jesus.  You may be the only representation of Jesus that they will have.  I pray we can all represent Him faithfully, not only in the peaceful times, but in the storms as well.

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