Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Should we always tough it out when times get hard?

Pickwick Falls just south of Winona,  Minnesota.          Taken yesterday.

Today I sit here at the dining table while my family is yet sleeping.  The darkness outside reminds me that winter is soon approaching here in Minnesota.  Just two short months ago I was watching a beautiful sunrise at this time.  Our weather changes so quickly here in the North Country that it seems  that when one just starts to get used to a season, it changes.  On the positive side to this is that one appreciates our seasons so much more knowing that they are around for a limited time. 

Pickwick Pond
I am learning and have learned from my wife Anne about the ability to look ahead and be happy with the events in the future, rather than looking back and feeling remorse for what has gone by.  She has the unique ability to look at a future that is always positive, while on the other hand, at times I tend to prepare for difficult eventualities that might or might not happen.  God knew that we needed each other when in his plan he prepared her for me.  She is constantly looking at almost every situation with a positive slant, and I am amazed how she can take even the saddest circumstances with our family, and help us to see the silver lining around it.  

Turkey Vulture near our home.  We are all in good health!
Being raised with a good German work ethic in my background, I have learned that it is always important to go on and do your best no matter how hard things might get.  As a young man growing up, I recall the banner in our wrestling room that read, “When the times get tough, the tough gets going!”  Also, “Losers quit while winners quit losing!”  There were other sayings that many of you might have read as well.   Most of us were taught in sports that there are ways to toughen up and forgo the pain by seeing only the goal at the end of the struggle. “Tough it out and don’t stop when times get hard” was the motto so many of us saw in sports in school.  It was drilled into our heads that in order to be a winner, you have to put pain aside, and look at the potential that might await you if you don’t take your eyes off the goal. 

But!  But there are times in life that require you take stock in the direction you are going, and change course if it is not working out for you.  No matter how hard it is, trying harder might not make it right for you to continue on a path that is leading nowhere.  No matter what attitude with being positive or not, it might not be the direction God has for you.  Have you ever noticed how God has a way of removing your peace when you are heading in the wrong direction?  We find ourselves slamming our heads against the proverbial wall time and time again, until we stop one day and say, “Lord, please show me the way to ‘your’ path.  Show me what you want me to do.”  I have discovered this in my own life that when God chooses another direction for me, I will not find peace until I acknowledge his leading in my life, and give up my will and allow him to open the doors that will guide me out into the light. 

Sunrise this morning outside my window.
If you are lacking peace, take time today and ask God what it is that is taking this peace from your life.  He is faithful to help you in this time of need, and he wants to be there for you. (1 Peter 5:7)  Just as you desire to help your children when they face difficult problems in their lives, so too does God want to be there for you as well.  God will bless you with his peace once again, and he will show you the way out and through any problem you might have.  (Isaiah 41:10)