Life is full of challenges. Not one of us has a life that goes the way we planned. One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Joseph. His life certainly did not go the way he planned. He went from having a vision that his brothers, father and mother would bow down to him, to being sold into slavery. I’ve always wondered what went through his mind at that moment. We read about his positive attitude throughout his life. Everywhere he went he prospered because he chose to do the best he could with what he had.
It was his attitude of gratitude that made the difference in his life and in the lives of those around him. If we could just get hold of that can you imagine the impact we could have in our world today? This world we live in is full of people that are only worried about themselves. “What about me”, as Joyce Meyer says. Sadly, sometimes we Christians are the worst culprits. We walk around pointing our fingers at everyone else and rarely take a look at ourselves. It’s so much easier to point out what’s wrong with everyone else. We blame everyone else for our problems; even sometimes blaming God.
Joseph didn’t blame God or his brothers, or anyone else. He just continued to do the next right thing without grumbling or complaining about his circumstances. He could’ve chosen differently and been bitter and angry about how his life was turning out, but he chose to walk in gratitude. Can you imagine Joseph as a guest on Dr. Phil talking about how his father picked him as his favorite son and this made his brothers angry and resentful? His brothers acted on their resentment and sold him into slavery. Then just when he was beginning to make a good life for himself the wife of his master falsely accused him of rape and he was thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. After that he helped the cup bearer interpret his dream and was forgotten for another two years. It took thirteen years for Joseph to receive what God had shown him, and each step of his journey appeared to take him farther away from that dream becoming a reality. Joseph had many reasons to cry poor me, but he chose the high road. He chose to not be a victim and look for the gem in his trials.
We have many examples that show us that it is far better to walk in gratitude than to live angry. Why do we think that somehow we deserve to have a life that is without problems? We continually compare ourselves with others and wonder why me? Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says this, “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” We need to realize that today’s trials are strength training for our future.
What gem can you find today?