Sitting through many basketball games in my tenure as a coach’s wife, I have witnessed some messy situations. There are the star shooters that are having a cold streak which in turn makes scoring extremely unlikely. There are the referees who seem to turn a blind eye to the fouls of the other team. There is sickness that overcomes a team causing weak play or for some players, no play. These difficult messes, however, often make way for other less-used players to begin scoring, opportunities to learn self control when the call is against our team, or bring heightened awareness of remaining strong with adequate sleep and healthy food. In the long run, the joy of added strength and character can come from messy circumstances.
#1 - DECIDE
As we walk through the messes of life, begin by making an on-purpose decision. After battling many forms of messy depression, Pastor Rick Warren’s wife shares this bit of advice:
“I just decided to live in joy.” Kay Warren
Deciding to live in joy is the opportunity we all have. We can live in the mess with all of it’s limiting outcomes and bitter responses. Or, as Kay Warren did, we can choose to look for the joy that awaits us beneath the surface of all circumstances. In the face of much danger David, the Psalmist, boldly chooses joy by declaring…
“… my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9 KJV
#2 - PRAY
"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it." Mark Twain
The best way to manage our mess is through prayer which Mr. Twain does not specifically mention. Recorded in the Psalms, David – a man after God’s own heart - not only chose joy but he also cried out to the Lord in prayer in times of troublesome messes.
“Do not hide from me, your servant. I am in trouble. Hurry to help me!” Psalm 69:17 NCV
MAKE IT A MATTER OF PRAYER AND IT WILL NO LONGER BE A MATTER OF CARE
Then, like David, we can echo these words of petition and prayer:
“Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord…You snatched me from the brink of disaster!” Psalm 86:12-13 The Message
We too can experience JOYFUL MESSES just as David did by DECIDING FOR JOY and PRAYING for help.
Blessings…as your messes become joyful!
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