Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lessons from the Valley

So, it seems like lately most of my posts have been about the hard side of life. Perhaps some of you can relate to it?

- We find out our house needs to be re-stained (the exterior)...expensive
- My Mother unexpectadly passes away (still dealing with this grief)
- My car's A/C goes out...need a new compressor but can't/won't pay for it now
- The following week, my car's rear brakes go out
- The week after that, in addition to an oil change, my car's master cyllinder goes out
- Then we discover a leak in our master bathroom: tear out the toilet, the vinyl, the sub-floor, cut a hole in the ceiling of the bathroom below us, etc...
- Then on Tuesday we find out our furnace is in such bad condition, that the guy who came out to service it can't even hook it back up...we need a new furnace.
So what started out as "one of those days" turned into "one of those weeks" which has now turned into "one of those seasons of life." During this time, many thoughts have struck me which I pass on to you.

1) The true measure of a person is found in how they face trials. Anyone can look good, be good, act good during good times...but how much faith and trust do you have in difficult times?
2) In the same sense, anyone can love their friends...but how many of us can love our enemies?
3) My relationship with Christ remains stronger then ever and my relationship with my wife is solid. If those two things are in order, then life is good.
4) When the stress level goes up, the prayer and physical exercise must also go up. As one person put it, "when you increase the 'drains' in your life, you must also increase the 'fills.' "
5) Keep life simple when things get rough; read the Bible, pray, go for a walk, eat well and get some exercise (which I haven't been doing), and try to keep things in perspective.
6) Remember that we worship a God who can literally "calm the storm." Also remember that for whatever reason, He allows times of testing and trials. Try and grow during these times.
7) Count your blessings. I have a great wife, a great marriage, a great house and a job, I have my health, I have family...the list goes on. Always, count your blessings.

How about you? What lessons have you learned from the valley? Share them!

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