Recently I had one of those days. You know the kind. The kind where nothing has gone the way you planned–where because of Covid, you had to cancel an activity you were looking forward to, where something broke and you need to decide if you will replace it or fix it, where a friend found out they had cancer. Those are the kind of days a lot of people experience.
My list of disappointments can go on and on. However this is the thing–all of us can find all kinds of things to be disappointed about in life. And dwelling on our disappointments just magnifies feelings of anger, frustration, worthlessness, and bitterness.
The good news is that life’s disappointments do not define us and cannot defeat us if we hold strong to some tools for overcoming disappointments. One of my favorite verses is found in Philippians 4:8-9. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
When we start focusing on the positives in life instead of the negatives, we seem to find a way through our disappointments faster. If we dwell on the negative, it feeds more negativity and on the opposite end if we dwell on the positives it leads to more positivity. Do not get me wrong. Unfortunately, I am not a Pollyanna (Younger people may not even know what I am talking about!). I do not see everything through rose colored glasses, but sometimes I wish I did.
The thing is we need to view everything that happens in our life through the lens of knowing God can do something good with it. It is hard to find a positive in cancer. I have chosen to look at my friend’s cancer as an opportunity to shower her with God’s love by volunteering to take her to doctor appointments, fixing meals, sending a thinking of you card, and praying for her.
I challenge you to try an experiment this week. Be thankful and look for positives to come from negatives. Quite frankly sometimes it is hard. But when we learn to look at what is good, true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy, we are shifting our focus. We will find that the disappointing days still happen. But we can face them with better attitudes and joy in our hearts, because we are looking for the positive in our disappointments rather than the negatives. The great part is that we will experience more and more of God’s presence and peace with us on this journey.