Over recent weeks, I have had to ask myself, ‘What comes out of your mouth first, Jeanette? Is it positive or negative?’
Admittedly, all too often, I find the negative comes out first, especially in the past year with all that has changed in my life.
We all know covid has shifted our lives big time. Our schedules have changed. Our kids have experienced change, and our job locations have changed. For years, the coworkers I spent most of my waking hours with were cut off with no warning, and I haven’t seen them in over a year. While I don’t miss using the big stall in the bathroom for more discreet duties, I miss seeing them. Many became like family, but like some families, we now go months without speaking. Sad but true.
And then throw in the whole debate about variants and vaccines. Families and friendships are strained, the country is in great upheaval, and everyone and their brother is an expert.
The covid fight is real. As a result of covid, many have lost loved ones, and some are currently battling the virus, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. My prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones or have loved ones currently sick or in hospitals. Two people I know are currently on ventilators – one was vaccinated, and one was not. They and their families need prayer. I praise the Lord for delivering another acquaintance of mine who was 27 weeks pregnant from the ventilator, and she is continuing to improve. Her newborn baby is thriving and continues to add weight. Mommy and daddy are thrilled to kiss and hold her daily.
Let’s face it – it has been a difficult 18 months, and from all accounts, it is not going to get easier any time soon, if ever. I know that sounds negative. It’s hard to spin bad news into good news these days.
Take a look around the world. Maybe you have decided not to look around at what is happening in the world today. You turned off the news. Understandable. But you need to know a lot is happening and none of it is good. This round dirtball is on fire in more ways than wildfires out west or overseas.
Can you see how easy it would be to speak negatively first when asked how you are doing? It takes effort for most to speak something positive first. There have been many times I have responded to someone’s question, “How are you doing?” with “Great,” and it wasn’t entirely true. After a while, I get tired of saying, “Not good.” Some days I feel negativity repels friends and family.
Not only are people struggling inside their homes, but the world as a whole is struggling. The outlook looks bleak.
School just started, and already we’re hearing about hundreds of children who have tested positive for the virus. What should be an exciting time for the kiddos and families has become a nail-biter for kids, parents, and teachers alike.
So, what do we do? What comes out of our mouth first? Something negative or positive.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
How do we turn a negative into a positive?
What do all the self-help books say?
I don’t know what those books say, but I know what my Bible says, and I believe the Bible is the true authority on everything.
The Bible gives me hope, and it also tells me what I can expect. God tells us in his word what we can expect to happen in the future. The problem I find too often is people don’t know what to expect because they haven’t read the Bible.
Honestly, I am not surprised by what is happening in the world today. I am more surprised I am alive to witness history being made and the Bible being played out before my eyes.
I get that many think the Bible is boring. It’s not as exciting as a Nora Roberts novel or other action-packed, hanging on the edge of your seat-type stuff. No love story makes you cry or a climactic ending that calls for a sequel movie.
Oh, but my friend, there is all of that and more, much more.
When I need help turning negatives in my life into positives, I seek the source of truth first. In the Lord, I place my faith and hope. And when I feel defeated and ready to cry my eyes out because things went horribly wrong and didn’t go as planned, I turn to the Lord for my source of comfort and strength. The Lord is my hope!
I’m sorry, but humanity has repeatedly proven that they are broken, just like me. No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, at the end of the day, it’s still a pig, just a little weirder looking.
Psalm 91 is a bedrock chapter in my life. Take a look.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
What comes out of my mouth first? Positive or negative?
If I truly believe my hope is in the Lord, which I do, and I rest in the shadow of the Almighty, then I need to do a better job of starting with positive words first. While things are rough and each day presents new challenges, I must remember I am never alone. The Lord is with me. The Lord leads, guides, provides and protects me.
If I believe the Lord keeps his promises, which I do, then I need to live like I believe those promises and not rely on my own strengths to get me through the challenges. I need to be careful that I don’t fall into negativity traps.
In other words, I need to keep my eyes on the Lord and hold his hand tightly. He will see me through, and while this dirtball continues to decline, the Lord will continue to reign on high because he is the Lord Almighty.
The Lord is worthy to be praised, and he knows what is to come more than me or anyone else.
If you do not know the Lord, now is the time. Do not delay. Today is the day of salvation.
The Teaching Lady
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”