Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” While I’m no statistician, I’m pretty sure he’s right. At least close.
Nearly a year ago, I graduated high school. As I walked across the stage, Proverbs 16:9 was read. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (NLT). And let me tell you, I’m finding this verse to be true.
I had plans. Godly plans. I had just received a big scholarship to a Christian university. I had just given a graduation speech that escalated quickly in the community. I was being recognized on Walk-FM as a “World Changer.” I had a girlfriend who I genuinely felt God had given me. For the most part, life was good.
It caught me off guard. I was on my way to school. Jamming to some rap. Feeling pretty good. When all of a sudden, a warning came across my dashboard: “Warning, engine overheated.”
I glanced at the temperature gauge, only to find the dial resting on red. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I stopped my engine as soon as I could. Hello, State Route 733. The outskirts of Pomeroy.
My Meigs County readers know two things about 733: there’s nowhere to pull off, and the cell phone service is terrible.
After letting my engine cool for a couple of minutes, I made it to Taz’s gas station. I finally reached my dad on the phone. He said, “Pop the hood. Check the antifreeze.”
There’s a popular quote that simply reads, “See the good.” Makes sense. The world is a messy place. Negativity runs rampant. It’s a good self-help tip. See the good.
But what’s good? That’s kinda relative. For me, it’s black coffee, worship tunes, and a book. Those things make me happy. I’m sure there’s good in your life. I don’t know what it is, but I challenge you to see it. Be thankful for the little blessings.
When I communicate, I try to be practical. There are certainly benefits to positive thinking. Don’t forsake seeing the good in your ordinary world. Little things can make a big difference. But I want to focus this popular quote through the lens of God’s Word.
The Israelites were in Babylonian captivity, and the prophet wrote, “Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’” (Isa. 43:16-19 ESV).
Let me put this in my own words.
The voice comes from a burning bush—well, it isn’t really burning. But it’s on fire.
“Then the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites’” (Ex. 3:7-8 ESV).
The Israelites have been under Egyptian bondage for nearly 400 years. But God, seeing the hurt of His people, decides to come down for them.