Adversity and Waiting

On Facing Adversity

I learned there are troubles

Of more than one kind.

Some comes from ahead

And some come from behind.

But I’ve bought a big bat.

I’m all ready, you see.

Now my troubles are going

To have troubles with me!

--Dr. Seuss

Do you or someone you know handle adversity with a BIG BAT? Many face adversity today with the attitude…knock ‘em over the head with my opinion…. knock ‘em over the head because they don’t agree with me…. knock ‘em over the head because things are just not going my way!

David gives us an inspiring example in Psalm 40:1-3. He waited patiently on the LORD in a time of adversity. Doing God’s will sometimes means not taking up our big bat. The original text in Psalms 40 “I waited patiently” is literally “waiting, I waited.” It was waiting upon waiting—a skill we seem to have lost in our desire to be instantly gratified. It would do us well to remember waiting on the Lord conveys a confident trust or faith in our Lord.

David did not always make good decisions and found himself in situations filled with conflict many times. He was certainly flawed, yet loved by God. In this Psalm, David tells us through his waiting God turned toward him, heard his cry and took action. He lifted David out of the muck and mire, gave him a firm place to stand, and placed a new song of praise in his mouth. David knew through his example many would come to know the Lord.

As Christians, others are watching and taking note of how we are handling adversity in our life. Are we waiting patiently for God to answer our prayers, demonstrating love and compassion in our adversity? Are we giving answers in gentleness (1Peter 3:15)? Or do we pick up our big bats and hit others over the head? Which one of these actions will invite others into a relationship with our Lord?

Gentleness is demonstrated through forbearance, leniency, reasonableness, fair-mindedness, charitableness, and a willingness to yield our own rights to show consideration for others. Only living in a constant state of waiting for our Lord can we gain the strength to live out gentleness.

I’ve added a couple of stanzas to Dr Suess’ advice on dealing with adversity, which might reflect a Christian perspective for dealing with controversy.

ON FACING ADVERSITY

(Dr. Seuss)

I learned there are troubles

Of more than one kind.

Some comes from ahead

And some come from behind.

(Judy C. Lanier) But I have a big Savior

To whom my troubles I give.

I wait in his hope

and joyfully live.

My circumstances don’t rule me

Nor troubles bring me down.

Christ is my focus,

His salvation—my crown.

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