by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails,
And not the gales,
That tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate;
As we voyage along through life,
‘Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm, or the strife.
While visiting with my friend during her stay, she mentioned that whatever comes our way, we choose… bitter or better. I thought that was so well put, and it reminded me of the above poem I saw in The Mommy Manual by Barbara Curtis. I got out the book to re-read the poem and what do you know? Barbara also talked about being bitter or better. Must be fate!
Everyone goes through difficult circumstances, some more difficult than others. Whether death, sickness, divorce, financial problems, or something else, we choose to become bitter or better. It’s easy to convince myself that my reactions to tough situations are not chosen, but involuntary. The truth is I determine to have a good attitude about my trials or I choose stinkin’ thinkin’. Jesus said we will have tribulation while in this world. (John 16:33) Remember, though, that “tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not dissapoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Just think, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned to cause a man to be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3) Wow! I consider that great news! When we face difficulties, the works of God might be displayed in us! We can show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control in all circumstances and God will be glorified. No matter what is happening in our lives, we can focus on the blessings God has given us.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8