“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”— John 16:33(NIV).
Pulling up to the intercom to place my order at a fast food place, I noticed something amiss. Normally, the vehicles waiting in line would have pulled up a ramp to the window to pay for and pick up their meal. However, they were bypassing the usual route and parking next to the ramp.
Before I could figure out what was happening, the employee taking orders explained. “We have a problem with a car blocking the exit. You can still order and follow the line in front of you or come inside.”
After placing my order, I drove forward where I could finally get a glimpse of the vehicle interfering with traffic. When I looked closer, I realized—and felt sorry for—the young man who had evidently tried to exit the ramp too soon, leaving his car straddling the concrete barrier to his right. I’m sure he was not only embarrassed, but his car was probably going to require some major work.
To minimize the delay, restaurant employees were scrambling outside to collect customers’ payments and then returning with their orders. Even though their usual routine had been disrupted, they were taking the challenge in stride without complaint. They even apologized for the delay.
Have you ever had one of those days when everything that could go wrong does? Maybe you’ve been moving forward, following God’s directions, when you make a wrong turn. You wonder, “Where did I go wrong?”
John 16:33 is a reminder that in this life we will have trials. We’re not exempt from suffering and heartache. However, when we remember Jesus has overcome this world, it’s a balm to our weary souls.
In the book, “1,000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently,” the authors offer the following thoughts on when things go wrong:
1. Pain is part of growing. We don’t grow on the mountaintop, but in the valley of trials.
2. Everything in life is temporary. This, too, shall pass. Thank God! We know our reward is in heaven.
3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing. “Those who complain the most, accomplish the least,” say the authors.
4. Your scars are symbols of your strength. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
5. Every little struggle is a step forward. Remember “the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:3).
6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem. Don’t let the naysayers drag you down. Step away. Turn to God’s Holy Word each morning for positive reassurance.
7. The best thing you can do is to keep going. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus says, “...with God all things are possible.”
Romans 8:28 assures us, “…all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!”
No matter what we’re going through, we can take heart. We’re not going through it alone.
Check out www.carolaround.com for more inspiration and information about Carol’s books and speaking ministry.