One Letter Makes A Difference!

Her words jumped off the page at me. 

As I read the difference between these two words, it was a like a light bulb was clicking on in my mind.

Jennifer Rothschild points out in her book that “the only difference between becoming bitter or becoming better is the letter I.” 

Before I continue with her quote, let me share that Jennifer Rothschild is blind.  She lost her sight at the age of 15 due to a retinal disease.  In her book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking By Faith, Not By Sight, she shares some important truths she has learned as well as some struggles that come with her blindness.

Have you ever struggled with your life circumstances? 

Have you ever wondered why you have to walk the hard path you are facing? I know I have.  When life throws us a curve ball, it is easy to wonder why is this happening to me?  I am sure that Jennifer thought this same thing at age 15 when her world turned dark.

I think that is why her quote really stood out to me.  She says, “The only difference between becoming bitter or becoming better is the letter I. Approaching our difficulties from the standpoint of what I want, what I have lost, or what I think is fair will embitter us.”

I know that I have focused on what I have lost or what I wish I had as I walked through a hard circumstance.  Honestly, I think it is natural to ask the hard questions like why me, but the key is not to get stuck there. 

Jennifer continues by saying, “Bitter eyes can perceive only the injustice and the sorrow in our situation.  Grateful eyes, however, will always see the grace of God, regardless of how difficult circumstances might be.”

Friends, we want to move from bitter eyes to grateful eyes.

Let me say that this is not easy.  It is difficult to do in our strength.  But we can as we remember Phil 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ that gives me strength.” 

You might be saying, how can I be grateful for this hard circumstance. 

We are not thankful for the hard circumstance, but we are thankful for God walking by our side through the hard circumstance.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Thank Him for giving you strength each day.  Focus on His comfort and love.  As you do, you will see that this hard circumstance is making you better not bitter.

Love, Jodi 

Be the Miracle!

I have always loved this story.

I can picture myself sitting in the crowd of 5000 and listening to the speaker.   I have brought some food with me.  As I start to feel hungry, an announcement is made asking if anyone has any food that they can share with the group. I think to myself: should I give my lunch to the crowd or keep it selfishly for myself?  What would you do?

I wish I could say that I would generously give away my food like the little boy gave his 5 loaves and 2 fish.  Do you remember this Bible story?  As the little boy generously gives his small lunch to Jesus, He blesses it and multiplies it to feed 5000 people.   

I love that our small gifts placed in the hands of Jesus get multiplied.

But what if the little boy did not share and kept the food to himself?  What would have happened if he thought it was not enough?

He would have missed the miracle.

Friends, how many times have we missed a miracle because we were not willing to give up what God asked?  What if we thought it was not enough?

So many times, we focus on “Not Enough”.  I don’t have enough Time?  Money? Talents?  We look at our situation through addition.  But what I love about this miracle is that God doesn’t add, he multiplies when we place it in His hands.

Mark Batterson calls this Kingdom Calculus in his new book, Double Blessing.  Normally, 5 +2 = 7 but when God is added to the equation, 5 + 2= 5000 R12.  Wow- not only did they feed all 5000 people, but they had 12 baskets left over.  Perhaps one basket for each disciple to serve as a reminder that God multiplies!

I am once again challenged by Mark’s words, “Everyone wants a miracle, but no one wants to be in a situation that necessitates one.  Of course, you cannot have one without the other.  By definition, a miracle requires an impossible situation!”

Friends, what if you are the answer to that impossible situation?  

Is God is asking you to give “your 5 loaves and 2 fish” to help someone else?  Perhaps it is your time, your money, or your talents.  Mark says, “your generosity is someone else’s miracle.”

Praying today that we can be a miracle to someone else.

Love, Jodi