I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. Psalm 34: 1
In my daily work, I often find myself moving from one crises to another. It is for this reason that I often have to forget or put aside my own crisis that may have occurred outside the school building. Those that may have occurred before I even left home. So I can help others cope with their own struggles.
However, sometimes these two worlds collide and you are dealt two crises in your hand of cards. Two that you must strategically play at the same time.
The phone rings in the middle of someone’s meltdown, and you find your own child or loved one is now in the middle of theirs. What do you do? How do you respond?
This actually occurred recently to my co-worker. And, as I watched her calmly sit down the receiver of the phone, slowly take a deep breath, and refocus on the task at hand, I wondered how she mustered the energy to deal with both.
Her answer? “I was just glad I was in the middle of this crisis, because I really just wanted to lay down and cry.”
Which left me wondering…Do I respond in this way? Do I look for what is good and positive in a given situation? Or do I scream, cry, and run for the hills?
These types of days are not uncommon. On most of them, as soon as I hit the ground running, I am then headed to another problem. As I sit down for lunch there may be something or someone I need to calm down or fix. In the midst of it all, I have my own problems in my life, my home, with my children.
It’s enough to make you come undone. To completely unravel. Just like everything and everyone around you. To lay on the floor and cry. To pick up that phone and throw it. To tell anyone who will listen just how crappy your day, your year, your life is.
And some days…I do unravel. I lay on the floor and cry. I throw things. I have a pity party.
But, then somewhere in the unraveling. In the midst of all those mixed up emotions. In the coming undone. Behind those tears is the strength needed to help someone else doing the same. The patience needed to calm down your own children. The perseverance to take a breath and move on.
Or the choice to look at all the great things in my life. All the blessings in this chaos that lies before me.
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. Psalm 59:16
Or we choose to praise Him. Like David. Who had a few troubles and unravellings of his own.
Remaining positive in the midst of our struggles doesn’t mean our problems don’t exist. It only means we are choosing not to let them define our moods. Not to let it separate us from His grace. From His strength.
From His blessings.
Like the morning cuddles from the child who spends the afternoon in tantrums.
Like the random compliment on a day when you have heard nothing but criticism.
Like the things you have been able to provide when the bills keep coming, and the money keeps going.
Like the new day that has dawned after a night spent depleted, discouraged, and lonely. A reminder that you are alive. A promise to start over.
Or the strength that comes from Him to slow down, take a breath, face the crisis in front of you, keep moving forward, and praise him anyway.