As I get older (edging ever closer to 60!), I’m reflecting on some of the preventative measures I *SHOULD* have taken for the sake of my health and fitness over the past few decades. But since I can’t change the past, I’ve been slowly taking care of what I can over the past year. For instance, last May, I had reconstructive surgery on my right thumb (basal joint) to relieve severe arthritis and remove bone spurs and fragments. I can now use my thumb again without pain and only slightly limited range of motion. This summer, I’ve been catching up on all “those” appointments I’ve been putting off, from a colonoscopy to another vision exam (and new glasses). In other words, instead of complaining about my problems, I’ve been seeking and implementing solutions.
So onto today’s inspiration. You can also read Psalms and Proverbs to accompany each day on my page, Daily Scripture Readings.
“Do you know there are people
who really don’t want to get well?
They just want to talk about their problems.
Are you one of those people?
Sometimes people get addicted to having a problem.
It becomes their identity, their life.
It defines everything they think and say and do.
If you have a ‘deep-seated and lingering disorder’
(see John 5:5-6),
the Lord wants you to know
that it does not have to be
the central focal point of your entire existence.
He wants you to trust Him and cooperate with Him
as He leads you to victory over that problem
one step at a time.
Don’t try to use your problem
as a means of getting sympathy.
We get angry at those who tell us the truth.
And the truth is that before we can get well,
we must really WANT to be well–
body, soul, and spirit.
We must want to enough
that we are willing to hear and accept truth.
Each of us must learn to follow
God’s personal plan for us.
Whatever our problem my be,
God has promised to meet our need
and to repay us for our loss.
Facing truth is the key
to unlocking prison doors
that may have held us in bondage.”
–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You”
This devotional thought was especially relevant for me last year as I prepared to deal with the lingering PROBLEM of my arthritic thumb! I really didn’t want it to be an excuse or part of my life any more; I’m thankful now, just over a year later, that I’ve improved functionality AND become pain-free in that thumb! I’ve regained the ability to do many things without pain that had become very difficult (like just buttoning up a shirt!)
I also like the emphasis on not using our problems as excuses, or not allowing problems to become our identities. These lines are especially thought-provoking: “Sometimes people get addicted to having a problem. It becomes their identity, their life. It defines everything they think and say and do.” Sadly, I know people like this and I don’t want to fall into that trap myself.
So what are YOUR thoughts?
Do you tend to focus on problems rather than solutions, or know someone else who does?
Have you learned good strategies to help you find and implement solutions in your life?