I read a story about a man who always complained. He was quick to add up all the negatives. One day he met a famous motivational teacher who told him “Let me introduce you to a group of people who have absolutely no problems”
Curiously the complainer wanted to know where these people hang out. He was keen to meet them and learn from them.
With a smile on his face, the motivational teacher answered “You will find these people in a cemetery. Only dead people have no problems. Having problems mean we are alive”
The story came to my mind like toast popping up from a toaster recently. The past few months were more troublesome than usual. Isn’t life in the end all about how we manage our inevitable problems? Those who win, end up with a sense of satisfaction. Those who fail to stand up to their problems get depressed, tired or frustrated.
When challenges take place, we often wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?” or even, “Why did God have to do this to me?” Sometimes we will never gain a satisfactory explanation. Other times, however, we do receive an answer to our “why” question. The following story provides a wonderful illustration:
A daughter was telling her mother about how everything in her life seemed to be going wrong, that she was failing her math class, her boyfriend had broken up with her, and her best friend was moving away. Her entire world seemed to be crashing down.
As the daughter was expressing her tale of woe, her mother was baking a cake. Pausing from her activity, she interrupted her daughter to ask if she would like a snack. The daughter responded, “Absolutely Mom, you know how much I love your cake!”
“All right, here, have some cooking oil,” her mother said, reaching the bottle of oil toward her daughter. “Yuck!” said the daughter.
“How would you like a couple raw eggs?” the mother asked, holding them out toward her. “No, Mom – that would be terrible!”
“Would you like to eat some flour then?” the mother inquired. “Or maybe baking soda?”
“Mother, why are you asking me that? All of those would be awful to eat!”
At that point the mother replied: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake. And if you forget to include even one ingredient, the result will not be very good.
“God works the same way,” the mother continued. “Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all together, in His perfect, all-knowing order, they always bring about an outcome for our good! We just have to trust Him – and eventually they all will combine to make something wonderful!”
Can you be an example to your kids in the way this mother encouraged her daughter? This is what Life by Example is all about!