Daily Devotions

Reframing Your Life, Restoring Wholeness

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Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

 

The popular writer, Marianne Williamson, helps us understand that, “Our key to transforming anything lies in our ability to reframe it.” David was the youngest, and hence the lowliest of his father’s sons. But he reframed his world by challenging Goliath in God’s name. He continued to reframe himself into a king and a blessed servant of the Divine. The Apostle Peter saw himself as a simple fisherman, but he reframed his life as he worked with Jesus to bring God’s message to the world. The Apostle Paul was one of the greatest examples of reframing one’s life. He was a murderer of the earliest Christians, and reframed his understanding of God, and God’s children. He went on to transform the way Christianity was lived out for the next two thousand years.

 

With each of these examples, God had a hand in reframing these individuals’ lives. Second, each one of these individuals was given a special moment when they could express their ability to make change. Third, they didn’t sit on the sideline, but jumped up and took advantage of their situation. Further, they were prepared so when the moment arrived, they were ready to make this change. David practiced using his slingshot to protect his sheep. Paul worshiped God and knew the same Hebrew Scriptures as his Messiah.

 

All of us have areas in our lives we wish could be improved. For many years I had a hard time slowing my mind down, relaxing, and being able to concentrate for extended periods of time. I was able to reframe my situation, no longer beating myself down for not being able to study for long periods in silence. Instead, I affirmed the abundance of energy within me. I also found that I was able to concentrate longer if I had background stimulation. I started having the television on in the background while I studied, and my performance actually improved. By reframing my lack of energy control, I was able to find an alternative means of accomplishing my goals.

 

Today, consider areas in your life where you believe yourself to be inadequate. Rather than continuing to beat yourself down, try reframing your situation. Find a way to see a value in what you or others consider a weakness. Then, find a way through the situation by working on the weakness. Seek the Spirit’s support as you slowly reframe your situation. This is a spiritual issue, because when you address issues that keep you from living confidently, your inability to fulfill God’s call is reduced. Reframing challenges in your life will bring health and wholeness. It is worth your time. Remember, nothing is too challenging to be reframed, with God’s help.

I'd Whine, But No One is Listening

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A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

 

I sit here trying to focus amidst the burning pain of shingles which I have below my chin and to my right. I also have it on the back of my head and moving up. The nerve endings are raw and shot up to the top of my head, and the one on my neck radiates to my ear. It would be easy to feel sorry for myself, if it weren’t for God’s sense of humor.

I got these nasty shingles the same weekend as many of our friends and neighbors struggled with the aftermath of flooding that devastated homes and cars. I also was reminded of all the other people I’ve known who had shingles. I was genuinely sympathetic hearing their plight, but didn’t understand until I experienced it myself.

Finally, today I went to the hospital to make my visits. From the person I was visiting, to those being rolled down the hallway, or in the elevator, there wasn’t a person in better health than me. How can I complain over my little inconvenience when there are so many struggling for their very lives. God laughed at my whining, and then taught me a lesson.

Today, rather than wallow in frustration and whining, look around at those whose struggles are so much worse than our own. Rather than focus on all the people who have it easier than we do at the moment, take time to look around at those whose lives are significantly more difficult. It only takes one trip to a hospital to change our perspective. Want that change to come even quicker? Make that visit to Blank Children’s Hospital.

We have every right to feel bad and even whine once in a while. We just can’t live in that depressing place. At the end of the day, sympathy from others is of little help. When we focus on helping others whose struggle is more difficult than our own, our lives become meaningful, and the pain is less debilitating. Offering your pain to God and your encouragement to others, is greater pain relief than any number of opioids.

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