Friday, August 18, 2006


I’ve been pondering an old theme. As I deal with people on a day-to-day basis, I wonder, "Is it the situations that we find ourselves in that shape us?"
I don’t know how you would answer. However, I do know that you would be foolish to answer quickly without circumspection.
As I ponder this question, many situations come to my mind. I’ve counseled with the pregnant teenager, the disappointed parent, the heartbroken housewife, the angry husband, the frustrated grandparent, the suspicious employee and the grieving loved one (just to name a few). In every case, the pressure from that situation left a mark on the person. No exceptions! At times, the mark is hard to see because the individual is trying to hide it, but it is there. All have markings and scars caused by the squeezing pressures of life. You have yours and I have mine. If the discussion were dropped here, it would be very depressing due to the nature of situations.
Have you ever noticed that some people are controlled by their situation and some people aren’t? The situation of life is applying pressure, and it will leave its mark, but the one who doesn’t get controlled by the situation chooses their response instead of just reacting. I think this becomes a great lesson of life. The situations that God allows us to handle in life will shape us. The difference is will you choose to allow the situation to control you or will you choose to respond to your situation?
In the 1800’s, the Africans brought to America in the slave trade found themselves in a situation that was harsh. They didn’t bring it upon themselves. Nevertheless, they were made slaves. Yet, despite the oppression, certain ones succeeded because they chose a response to their situation. The same is true for Jews in Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s and for South Africans in the 1980’s. Countless stories of inspiration are told about people who chose to respond to their personal situations.
Is there a situation of life that’s gotta’ hold on you, and its whipping you around like a dirty dishrag? What you probably need is a response to that situation. Handle it. Don’t let it handle you.