My friend Nancy is one of , if not THE, most compassionate, caring, thoughtful folks I know. She is tenderhearted and merciful and most people would probably expect her to be a pushover. However, she is anything BUT. So when she shared with me the advice she gives her kids when they face difficulties, I laughed in surprise. Then I had her repeat it and I ran to write it down. This is fabulous. Had to share it with you.
James 1:2-4 says to
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I agree. Nancy's application of this verse, when she hears someone whining about a problem, is this - "Here's a box of Legos. Build a bridge and get over it."
Life is for sure going to see that we experience trials. Sometimes those trials are the natural consequences of our actions. Most of us (at least outwardly) will take those on the chin. But those trials that are not the result of our own mistakes, those where we are treated wrongfully or when we suffer because of someone else's error - those, well, they just plain seem unfair. And it seems only fair that we should get to complain about them. To whine about the card we have been dealt. To just plain wallow in a good ole' pity party. Griping. Complaining. Uh, I mean, telling our story. Anything but rejoicing and trusting God and moving ahead. But that's exactly what James...and Nancy..are telling us to do. Stuff is gonna happen. Not according to your plan. Get over it. Actually, we need to get over OURSELVES. Stuff happens to everybody, not just me, not just you. Successful people don't sit around whining about problems.
They make sure they have an ample supply of bridge-building Legos.