Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us. What I have found is that our response to what happens to us is as important, if not more so, than the actual trials we face.
Because we know that God’s presence and power are with us, it makes total sense that we can respond to trials with joy. In Christ, we can renew our minds. One of my favorite stories is about a man who reflects this kind of joyful attitude in the face of trouble. Dave was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and speaking positive words of encouragement to help motivate others. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”
He was a unique person who had several hunter friends who followed him around the fields as he participated in his favorite past time—pheasant hunting. Dave’s positive energies flowed through the whole experience. The hunting partners, dogs, and farmers all loved Dave and his upbeat way of living. And when It would grate on others how genuinely positive Dave was, he would say, “Life is all about choices, so I choose to be happy.”
Not Going to Quit
But then one day, Dave had a very unfortunate accident. While pheasant hunting with a friend, he placed his loaded shotgun against the fence as he climbed over the barbed wire. The gun fell against a fence pole and discharged, shooting Dave in the chest. He was rushed to the nearest trauma center and evaluated for surgery. There were several pellets logged in critical areas and Dave was losing a lot of blood. While still conscious Dave noticed the worried and frantic attitudes of the medical personnel. It felt like they were treating him as if it was a foregone conclusion that he would die. As they debated his chances of survival, one burly nurse asked him, “Are you allergic to anything?” Dave took a deep breath and yelled, “Yes, I’m allergic to lead!”
Over the laughter of the doctors and nurses, a quiet peace fell among the team as if to say, “Dave is not about to quit; he wants to live. So, let’s operate on him if he’s going to live.” By God’s grace and the skill of his doctors Dave lived, but it was his amazing positive attitude that put the doctors in the right frame of mind to work on him.
Personal Application: There’s a world of difference between mustering a positive attitude by one’s own strength and will and tapping into the power of Christ and taking on His character and attitude. Whatever comes your way, focus on Christ and His presence and power within you.
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5