When we told our 9-year-old son, Brett, about our decision to follow God and move to Australia, his first reaction was to lament over leaving his best friend, Matthew. Within a minute or so, he looked straight at us and very matter-of-factly said, “Well, I am 50% American and 50% Australian. So, I guess I’m 50% sad and 50% happy.” And that was the end of it.
Brett’s wisdom in that moment is a lesson we can all learn. Oftentimes, our days are filled with good and bad, happy and sad, difficult and easy, fun and boring. To think that everyday is perfect or that every situation is easy for anyone isn’t realistic or true. The Bible even says that in this life there WILL be difficulties. We are to take heart, however because Jesus (our redeemer) has overcome the world (John 16:33). Even though we are Christians, our days can be 50% joyful and 50% sorrowful.
It’s up to us to determine our attitude toward those circumstances. The Bible tells us that we have authority to take any thought that is contrary to our knowledge of God and “make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). What are thoughts that are contrary to our knowledge of God? Feelings of unworthiness, depression, worry, anxiety, bitterness, etc. The Bible is full of God’s thoughts towards us. They are to prosper us, to give us hope. We are created in God’s image and He has gigantic plans for us.
The question is not whether we will have hard days and tough challenges. The question is what are we doing to do with them? We have all authority to take our thoughts captive. We can choose what we dwell on. We can choose the perspective we have about our circumstances. We can choose what action we will take to MOVE FORWARD past our problems and worries. God has given us this ability and if we choose to dwell on the negative, it will only hold us back from God’s best for us.
I’m impressed that the biggest potential “bad news” my sweet 9-year-old could have received took him all of a minute to move through. He took his sadness over leaving the home he has lived in for two-thirds of his life captive and immediately thought about the 50% of himself that was totally fired up for our new adventure. This is not to say hard days won’t come. Or that loneliness won’t creep up when we are starting our new lives in Australia. But what it does say is that he is going to do well. He will have many blessings to focus on and we will make sure to point them out! And if I need a “pick-me-up,” I know who to call!