acceptance Christian Living

Waking Up to the Way Things Are

Can you relate? It’s a typical day, until something triggers an uncomfortable memory from the past. Like it or not, you spend the next few minutes reviewing a negative highlight reel from one of your worst moments.

Why does this happen?

Here’s one explanation: most people’s thoughts trend negative. According to a March 2020 TEDx talk by Frederick Imbo, of the 50,000 daily thoughts a typical person processes, only 10,000 are positive. That’s just 20%!

Stats like this make me want to eat a whole quart of expensive ice cream straight out of the bucket.

The guy who wrote the Old Testament book of Lamentations sure knew the feeling. Most Bible scholars think it was the prophet Jeremiah. He was an eyewitness to God’s judgment of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

There’s plenty to lament, with your city reduced to rubble and your means of worship taken away. Oh, and grab another quart of Häagen-Dazs for the highway, because ALL of Judah is being exiled to Babylon.

Jeremiah understood this was divine retribution–plain and simple. God brought down the hammer Himself, due to Israel’s flagrant rebellion.

So What’s Next?

The stoic philosophers, who came along two centuries later, said to accept reality without complaint. “Suck it up, buttercup.”

Don’t call me buttercup.

Thankfully, the prophet doesn’t respond this way. First, he dwells on the bitterness of the past–watches the negative highlight reel. This is a BIG downer (Lamentations 3:19-20).

But then he brings something else to the front of his mind. Something that gives him HOPE for the future.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

Now we’re talkin’!

“Accept reality, but focus on the solution.”

Jocko Willink

And for Jeremiah the solution is a no brainer: “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” – Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)

Have you noticed the only difference between the words victim and victor? Two letters. And the Good Lord can turn them better than Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune!

Amen! Do I have a witness?

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” – 1 John 5:4 (NIV)

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By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

14 replies on “Waking Up to the Way Things Are”

Amen, especially over the long term. Everyone has a “woe is me day” now and then. This was me yesterday afternoon. Thankfully, it’s our aggregated thoughts that decide our hearts direction.

Blessings, brother.

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Lamentations 3 is one of my favorite passages. We all go through bitter times in life. We can continue to stew and think of what was or what could have been and let roots of bitterness grow or we can remember that God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness lasts forever. It’s all about what we choose to think about.

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Why did I read that chapter so many times and never notice “The Lord is my portion”? Only my favorite song fills in my hearts way of dealing with difficulty.

When Jesus is my portion
My faithful friend is He
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He’s watching me

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There IS hope.
I like how you highlighted when Jeremiah shifted from the “negative reel” to gazing at the Lord in Lamentations 3:22-24 the heaviness lifts. The prophet just role-modeled the same practice by which we can shift from negative reels to a fresh perspective, a breath of hope… change the direction of our gaze. Like the old hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

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Negative thoughts can sometimes come in huge waves that threaten to swamp us, these have usually been health related for me. But in this I have never let go of the “Life Preserver” – the promises of God my Father in His Word. Thank you for sharing so honestly with us David, and encouraging us.

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I do relate David. My bible and journal align the world for me each morning. I occasionally share some spill over thoughts in blog unless I feel the fish are biting and there is somebody nearby who needs time on the water (still frozen here).

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Thanks for relating and sharing, Barb. It seems we each have our own cocktail of negative thoughts to overcome. Being a middle child, I tend to believe whatever others say without question. I’m STILL learning to be my own person. It’s easier with some than others.

Thank you again, for sharing.

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