Easter for me this year is bittersweet because I so vividly remember where I was this time last year. Passion week last year found me at an all time low and yet God visited me in a way most miraculous.
I have at times set my focus on the circumstances of life letting my own emotions drag me down instead of believing that God was actively at work in my life, even when there was no outward evidence of it. Instead of adjusting the set of my emotional sails accordingly, I allowed myself to slip into despair, like a ship set a drift in a storm. The result was not only disastrous for me but brought others down with me.
I have since learned how destructive it is to let others control my behavior. As a mother and a professing Christian I need to keep a positive mindset. I am not talking about positive thinking for the sake of positive thinking either -but actually walking by faith -not by sight and passing off a tangible life skill to my children in the process!
As much as is possible I am resolved to keep my focus on the many blessings God has bestowed on me! I want to leave my children with the memory of a Philippians 4 mom. A mom who was strong enough to overcome the obstacles in life but who was gentle, gracious and kind. I want to teach my children how to love the roses of life without being mortally wounded by the thorns. .
We all encounter negative situations and negative people. I will however no longer allow myself to be weighed down by the negative mindset of others. Negative attitudes are very contagious and if I am not very careful I become a conduit that passes bad attitudes on to others!
Philippians 4: 4-8 is a Biblical mandate that tells me not only how to change, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, but is insistent that I must change my mindset. It is my reasonable service, not contingent upon how I feel. I am to rejoice in the midst of my circumstances even when they are unpleasant. The only way I can possibly do this is to view my circumstances through the eyes of faith. We are not rejoicing in the circumstances so much as in the knowledge that Christ Jesus is the blessed controller of all things!
I am choosing this day by an act of my will to focus on what is true. Even if my circumstances look discouraging. I will rejoice in the Lord always. I will rejoice! I will let my gentleness be evident to all. Because the Lord is near. I will behave accordingly. I will not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I will present my requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy—I will think about such things.
* Romans 12:1
* Phil. 4