I was with a young man who had a particularly bad morning. It was definitely noticeable and he was carrying a chip on his shoulder wanting to punish everyone around him for the circumstances causing his personal pain.
I thought of a story told by the late Howard Hendricks at a ‘Promise Keepers’ event. He was approached by another and he asked of him, “How’s it going?” to which the man replied, “Pretty good under the circumstances.” Dr. Hendricks quick-witted reply was to ask, “Well, what are you doing under there?”
It is so easy to get under the circumstances. Situations happen that may be out of our control and may place us in positions we don’t like and would prefer not to be in. We have to take action, but the usual action is to complain and wait. We don’t like being ‘under the circumstances’ but it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves and solicit pity than it is to quickly address the situation, take responsibility, and take positive action.
The man Joseph of the Biblical book of Genesis was a man who faced adversity; some of his own doing and some as a result for doing the right thing. Sold into slavery for his youthful arrogance and evoking the jealousy of 10 of his brothers. Then rising to power in Egypt he abruptly ran from the presence of temptation and, because of false testimony, was thrown in jail. There’s a lot more to the story of Joseph, you can check it out in Genesis chapters 37 through 50.
But there are a few verses in Psalm 105 (16-22) that tell a little more of Joe’s story. There’s a little phrase in verse 19, “the Lord tested him.”
Could it be a test? What I’m going through now, the circumstances I’m under, could they be a test? Is God squeezing me like tooth paste to see what’s inside? Have I cast all my cares upon Him that He may care for me? Am I trusting in the Lord with all my heart? Have I abandoned my own perspectives to acknowledge and recognize Him in every circumstance that He may direct me?
I am not to be under anything, but on top, to the praise and glory of the Lord. I know He can handle it; me.
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