Matthew 5:45 says "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Good things happen to both good and evil people...bad things happen to both good and evil people. I have seen terrible tragedies happen to some of the best people I know. Children dying, terrible diseases...things far worse than what has happened to me, but even though in your head you know that is true, you are still human, and what is happening to you is happening to YOU. Even though you know things could be worse what you are going through feels pretty darn bad. No matter what the situation is you have to endure it. The lesson I have learned however is even though you cannot choose the circumstances you are going to have to endure you can choose how you will endure them.
I am reminded of two men that were in the hospital at the same time I was. We were on the physical rehabilitation floor of the hospital. Patients on this floor have many different types of physical issues and both these men had one of there legs amputated. One gentleman had a wonderful attitude. He was one of my favorite people to chat with while doing our occupational therapy. We would sit there putting pegs in holes or squeezing hand exercisers and chat about all kinds of things. He had a wonderful smile and a jolly laugh. I remember watching him get up on the crutches for the first time and it did not take him long to start flying around the therapy room on those crutches. The second man never spoke to the other patients, and hardly ever had a kind thing to say to the therapists. When he would arrive in therapy he would often complain of being hungry and demand something to eat or he would simply fall asleep instead of doing his prescribed exercises. You could see the therapists strain to keep a neutral face when they were told that he would be the patient they would be working with that day. Who do you think was the first man to leave the hospital? That is right, the first man. I do not think the second man ever got out of his wheelchair while there and went home in that wheelchair. I made a vow that I would never have such a bad attitude, no matter how bad I felt, I chose to endure my circumstances with a positive outlook.
For the most part I have stayed true on my course of having a good attitude, but I have had times of weakness. I had a bad fall in my driveway while trying to get into the car from my wheelchair without using my sliding board. That little incident really spooked me and my physical therapist had to have a little come to Jesus meeting with me. I had some days when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself at home and just wanting to stay in bed and not make an effort to do anything and my mom had to get a little ghetto with me. If you know my mom you know it takes a lot to get her fired up, so you know I was being particularly full of self pity. We all have our moments when we just want to wallow a little, when we want to feel sorry for ourselves, but we cannot let those feelings rule our lives. When Paul and Silas were in prison they sang songs of praise and even in our own darkest hours we can have good attitudes. How we feel just doesn't happen to us, we choose it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." Whatever trial you are enduring, there will be a way out and let that knowledge be a comfort to you. In the meantime, there is no reason to make everyone around you miserable. Keep a good attitude, trust me, wallowing in self pity makes things much harder to get through and think about the impact you may have one someone else's life. Remember gentleman number one? He definitely had an impact on me, and I hope I have been able to make a positive impact on someone else's life in some way.