Choosing Our Response

We find ourselves facing the most challenging time in most of our lifetimes. These are times that reveal our source of trust and call for insight and hope. I was emailing the men of Timberline Church some thoughts that came to me as I read one of my morning devotions and thought I would share it with all of you.

Bible Verse for Today….Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1

Just when I have been planning my spring garden, we get a six-inch snow. This just shows that regardless of our plans and timelines we have to adjust to the realities that life brings.

That pretty much describes what has been happening in our lives with COVID-19 and the drastic interruptions of life and business in the midst of this unprecedented health crisis

Perspective is important for our lives. It is one thing to be “staying at home” it is another to be home and sick with Coronavirus. It is another to be in the hospital. It is another to be in an ICU room.

When I was on life support during my health crisis six years ago, I can remember having thoughts like, “I’m glad I don’t have cancer.!”¬† While my traumatic brain injury may have influenced my thought processes about the real danger I was in, it also has reminded me about perspective.

Perspective has to do with how we view our present circumstances and how we view our lives in the context of time. Often when a crisis is over and time passes the pain we are experiencing now tends to fade into the timeline of our lives.

So as we are in the current time we need to monitor our perspective and to have the wisdom to know how we should respond in this season. Clint Hurdle’s daily email devotion contained the following:

  • Some people need more focus. Others need to broaden their perspective.
  • Some people need to try harder. Others need to stress less.
  • Some people need to care more. Others need to let it go.
  • The secret is you are both people. The key is to know which one you are in this moment.

When I read this, I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

As I thought about this in relation to the words from the devotional I read, it made me think that life is not just reacting to what happens but making a choice.

There are many things about life that we don’t have control over. But we must always choose how we respond.

As I look at the list of contrasts in Ecclesiastes 3 many of them are choices I need to make. When is it time to speak up? When is it time to be quiet? When is it time to breakdown? When is it time to build?

This shows us that we need prayerful guidance on how to face the circumstances and challenges of life. We need to keep from just reacting and to respond with insight and wisdom that comes from the Lord. So my prayer is that you will walk in wisdom and choose the right response for the circumstance and season in which you find yourself.