via Daily Prompt: Unravel

“Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'” John 16:31-33 NKJV

One of my coworkers organized some Easter week devotionals at school. This was her verse for today, and I believe it is no coincidence that “Unravel” was the prompt for today.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. Repeat.

This seems like such an easy process, and it usually is, until we worry. When we get really stressed, breathing becomes a difficult chore. Labored breathing is an abnormal respiration characterized by evidence of increased effort to breathe, including the use of accessory muscles of respiration, according to Wikipedia.

Stress kills. This is a scientific fact. Worrying and stressing about things, even things that seem to be very important, can turn hair gray, cause wrinkles, cause stomach ulcers, and overwork your heart.

The world does a really good job of wearing us down. Like an old sweater that has been worn so many times and begins to unravel, we can start to come apart at the seams.

Christ tells us in his last days that we should “be of good cheer” because He has beaten everything that could beat us, even death. Now, this does not mean that everyone can live stress-free. He says that “in Me you may have peace.” This means that true peace can be found in Christ and not elsewhere.

In the 1990’s, there was a popular bumper sticker/t-shirt that simply stated: “No God? No peace. Know God? Know peace.” Yes, it’s catchy and quippy, but it’s also true.

When life is trying to unravel you, and it will because Christ said, “In the world, you will have tribulation,” turn to the Lord for peace. Then, breathe.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.


Southern Mondays

God does not want you to be happy. Do I have your attention? Good. Let’s begin.

It’s everyone’s least favorite day. Few look forward to it. Most openly dread it. It is the bane of our collective existence. It is….MONDAY!!!! I, like the cartoon cat, Garfield, hate Mondays. I wish there was something we could do to do away with them, but then Tuesday would become just as unpleasant. Everyone loves the weekend, and Monday is the signal that the weekend has ended. This makes us sad 😦

Because most of us are already in an ill mood on Mondays, we see things in a negative light. Traffic is there to make you late for work. Coffee burns your tongue, which makes you drop and spill it on yourself. Coworkers seem to do their utmost to rub you the wrong way. Is this just the way Mondays work?

I submit to you that it is all in our outlook. If we allow ourselves to be in a bad mood, we will see everything as an obstacle in our way of having a good day; however, if we decide when we wake up that we are GOING to have a good day, then we will begin to see these “obstacles” in a more positive light.

Traffic becomes a time where you can listen to more of your favorite music or even an audiobook. The hot coffee snaps you awake and makes you more alert. The once-annoying coworkers will look to you as an inspiration for being more productive. Your outlook changes everything.

This morning, I was in my typical “I hate Mondays” mood when I saw that I had earned a free drink at Starbucks (I’m a gold member). That was awesome! I actually thought that this would be a good Monday. Then, sitting at my desk, I bumped my drink onto the floor, spilling coffee onto my pants and shoes. It seemed that “good Monday” was an oxymoron. Thus, my good mood was gone.

What was my mistake? I allowed situations to dictate my outlook. This is not the way. You must not let what happens to you determine how you view life. The apostle Paul had a very rough life once he accepted Christ. He was stoned and left for dead, beaten several times, bitten by a poisonous snake, and shipwrecked. In addition, Paul was often imprisoned. He had WAY more reasons than we to be bitter; on the contrary, he was not.

Paul teaches us the “secret to being content in any and every situation (Philippians 4:11).” Paul continues his thought by saying, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).” The answer is Christ. It is the joy of knowing that Christ loves you and died for you to give you the opportunity to live in Heaven for eternity that should dictate your outlook. Because of this knowledge, we should be content.

What does it mean to be content? Webster’s dictionary defines content as being “pleased and satisfied; not needing more.” We should be content in all things. We should not strive to be happy because happiness is conditional on what happens to you. Joy and contentment are life choices. You may have something bad happen to you, and it may make you sad, but you can still be joyful and have contentment in your life.

God does not want you to be happy. I began with this statement, and I stand by it. God wants us to be content. He even tells us how to accomplish this.

Everything going smoothly? Praise God.

Does it seem like the world is out to get you? Praise God.

Having a Monday? Praise God.

In praising God, we remind ourselves of everything that He has done for us. Singing songs of praise puts us in the correct frame of mind. Thanking God for our blessings shows us that our life isn’t so bad after all. So, on this Monday and on every day of the week, get your mind right when you wake up and remember that God has given you the secret to contentment.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.