Have you heard the saying? “A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.” In my life that saying has held true. I have always struggled with letting my emotions rise and fall based on my children’s circumstances. I could also say when all the relationships in my life are going well is when I’m truly happy.
We’ve faced several health crises in our family. Again, my happiness depended on how well things were going. I want total control over my circumstances. I want everyone around me to follow my plan (including God) and THEN I’ll be happy. As a Christ follower I KNOW this is wrong, but yet I struggle with it.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:12 that he has learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Verse 13 tells us Paul relies on God’s strength, but if we back up to the verse Philippians 4:6, he tells us to not be anxious about anything but to present our requests to God. I’ve known that verse for years. Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything.
But for years I’ve also thought I needed to add my two cents to the situation. Pray, plus tell everyone what they should be doing. Until I read a life changing story in Paul E. Miller’s book, A Praying Life, this is how I operated. Paul Miller tells of praying for certain situations in his children’s lives and watching his requests be answered. What I found so unusual about the story was he said, “I had not spoken with either child about these issues. ALL MY WORDS had been to God.”
Really? ALL his words had been to God! You mean, he didn’t have to lay out a 10 point plan for his children to follow? He didn’t continually point out what needed to be done? He focused ALL his words toward God. Now, don’t misunderstand me. Yes, as parents we are to discipline and guide our children, but I’m talking about when our words become nagging words. When our attitudes become fretful and anxious.
I have applied Paul Miller’s quote of “all my words had been to God” in my life by turning to God in prayer instead of turning to my circumstances and trying to control them. I am learning when I focus on my relationship with God and not my circumstances, I am happier AND all those around me are happier!
- Read Philippians 4:6-8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
- Do you struggle with allowing your circumstances to dictate your happiness?
- What steps can you take to focus on your relationship with God instead of your circumstances?
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