HUNSTVILLE, Ala. (BNc) — Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of three articles by Genary Hicks, a reflection of the last seminar speech of Sis. Jane McWhorter, Christian author and national speaker. For the first article, see here.
Sister McWhorter, or Ms. Jane, as she was fondly called, spoke to us, casually, as though we were sitting in her living room, drinking a warm cup of coffee. I remember, leaning forward hanging onto each word, since I knew she would make the most of this final speech, in this setting.
At one point, I realized that my posture was too relaxed, then I looked around to see that I was not alone. What an honor and privilege it was to sit at her feet and gleam wisdom from her life.
She began by referring to life as a journey. And on this journey, we must know that storms and trials will come, but we must learn to find the good in every circumstance. She admitted that it takes time, even years, to make sense of some trials. However, we must develop a spiritual understanding of troubles.
Causes of Troubles
If not, we may become bitter and broken when hardships come. When we fail to have a spiritual understanding of trouble, we may find ourselves questioning the power of God or wondering if God loves us enough.
She went on to outline the causes of trouble:
- “God’s natural laws are consistent”;
- “Sometime we are hurt by our own carelessness.”
- as “A natural consequence of living with others.”
Ms. Jane reminded us that, when we are tempted to question God’s love, we should remember there is a difference between kindness and love. True love does what is right for the other, even if it hurts. She compared it to the relationship between a parent and child.
Also, we must remember that troubles are a part of life. It is not always the result of sin. Troubles are tools that “perfect our Christian character, James 1:2-4,” it “helps us comfort others, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,” and it “makes us yearn for something better”.
She shared how, since her husband, Don McWhorter, passed away four year ago, that there are days when she is all alone and longs to go home, “home, to be with the Lord and see Don”, she declared. With God our troubles have purpose and work to perfect us.
Troubles and Control
Ms. Jane warned us not to indulge in overly blaming ourselves for troubles, yet she reminded us that we have “some control over” our lives. We have control over our attitude and control over our character. These two things cannot be taken away from us. We should choose to have a positive outlook, trusting in God, knowing that He will work all things together for our good, Romans 8:28. So how should we handle our troubles?
- View ourselves as problem solvers.
- Express negative feelings. Don’t bury them inside. Verbalizing them can help us understand what is going on and, perhaps, what can be done.
- Look for the good in bad situations.
- Look for possible solutions. To this she said, “Success is only a series of small steps.”
- Change thoughts away from the negative. We should interrupt negative thoughts. She admitted that this would be challenging, but it is possible. She advised us to ask ourselves mind renewing questions, when we wake up in the morning, like; “What am I happy about? What can I choose to be happy about today? For what five blessings will I thank give thanks to God? What can I do to make one person happier? And What will I learn from my Bible study and how will I apply it to my life?”
Appreciate small blessings
We were admonished to appreciate the small blessings of life. Take time to thank the people who have been good to us. Enjoy what we do have without always wishing for more. Have a purpose in life. Act cheerful. Expand our horizons. Create loving relationships. Don’t hold grudges because grudges are usually a lot of hurt feelings.
These things will either add to our lives or take away from the value of it. Our lives are brief, so we must learn to differentiate between what is urgent and what is important. We must not place what seems urgent over what is truly important. As wives and mothers, we should make the effort to love our families more, and enjoy the seemingly insignificant moments with them.
These things she said with a calm confidence. She had traveled this road before. She had raised her children, lived with and loved a husband whom she adored.
And now she stood, in the winter of her life, looking back, and revealing her heart on the matters that are most important for God’s daughters to hear.
Tomorrow Genary finishes with “The Exit.”
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us