I joined Optimist in Lebanon and learned their creed. Can you imagine the world if we all reached toward living it
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
A gentle breeze blew across the arid landscape bringing the temperature in the shade to top 100 degrees. The weary travelers found minor relief along the rocky shores of The Great Sea. This small group of religious followers climbed aboard Peter’s boat and looked forward to the relaxing night of sailing to the far side. They settled for a comfortable ride when the wind began to form the smooth waters into large waves. The starlit sky darkened as the wind grew strong, building the waves into rough, turbulent seas. The tiny boat reared above each wave and crashed into the following pit. Frantically, the men fought the winds to control their vessel. Fear that all would be lost sweep over the deck with each invading wave. One of the men ran to the stern where their leader was sleeping. Shaking his leader from peaceful sleep, he cried, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
What did the men except of their leader? To man the oars? Pull n the ropes? Whatever it was, it wasn’t what followed.
The sought-after leader stood against the furious squall and raised his hand into the violent storm. “Be still,” he commanded. The wind and waves obeyed and the storm calmed. The men, drenched and worn, stood terrified in the gently rocking boat. “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Their leader asked.
Life’s storms can batter any of us to the edge of losing it all. What is your reaction during those times? Accuse the Lord of not caring? Expect him to do what humans would do? Are you surprised when he answers with power? Does he need to re-enforce your faith by answering with the results you want?
God knows what is going on in your life. Talk honestly to him about it and trust his answer.
Who does God say you are…when you feel like giving up?
Some days it is easy to want to give in to emotions and give up on dreams, or goals, or just survival. We read about Hagar in Genesis 16. She was an Egyptian maidservant to Sarai, Abram’s wife. When she became pregnant with Abram’s son, at Sarai’s suggestion, there developed bitterness between the two. Sarai mistreated Hagar and the pregnant servant ran away into the desert. An angel of the Lord told Hagar to return to Sarai and Abram where she gave birth to Abram’s son, Ishmael.
Hagar probably felt secure in Abram’s household while Ishmael was his only son. But when the elderly Sarai finally became pregnant with the child God had promised, Hagar and Ishmael was banished. Hagar again found herself in the wilderness with little water and food, only now she had a child to watch die of thirst. She separated herself from him to avoid hearing his cries and prepared to die from her circumstances.
God had not abandoned her during her first ordeal and He heard her cries again. An angel of the Lord told her to take the boy by the hand because “God will make him into a great nation.” (vs. 18) God then showed her a well and they survived to fulfill God’s promise.
When I was young I won’t allow myself to dream about my desires of wanting a loving family. I gave up on life because I thought my dream was unattainable. God gave me a vision of that dream in my future. Like Sarai, I laughed. But still I wondered; what if I give up just before the dream becomes possible. What if I gave up and God showed me what could have been mine if only I had trusted Him. That well of refreshing water may be just beyond my vision. Nothing is beyond God’s vision or care. Don’t give up on God because you can’t see the answer.
Have you ever felt like giving up on a dream or a goal that you thought God had given you? How did you keep your trust during discouraging circumstances?