Friday, September 1, 2017

Distraction or Blessing?

Submitted by Lara Cook
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2–4

The word distraction usually holds a negative connotation.  It typically refers to something that causes us to lose our focus or concentration.  It flies back and forth on the tongues of psychologists and teachers in regard to us mastering control over the distractions of our lives; especially the ones that are not positive.  But sometimes, I believe, a distraction can be a blessed event God brings into our lives for a specific purpose. 
It is so easy to feel beat down by life today.  There are many reasons for any given person to wallow in self-pity.  Let’s face it, life is just plain hard.  There are tragedies and accidents going on all around us.  There are natural disasters and national disasters.  Most of all, we feel the heaviness of life a little closer to home.  The loss of a job, financial trouble, divorce, problem child, or the death of a loved one - all of these can lead us to feeling defeated and sorry for ourselves. And honestly, who’s to say we don’t deserve to feel a little sorry for ourselves when hard things happen to us or someone we love?
Blessed Distractions
We all have experienced something significantly difficult at some point in our life but there are a few times that I have been right in the middle of some really difficult times and God has brought someone or something into my life that proved to be a blessed distraction.  When I say “blessed distraction”, I’m talking about someone or something that takes my focus off my pain and suffering and causes me to focus on how I can help someone else.  I believe that God does this on purpose to help us be stronger.  When you feel weak and beat down by your own problems and there is a crisis and you are needed by someone else, it’s amazing how we can find the strength to be there for them.
God can also use us to help someone else through difficulties relating their experience to some of the burdens we have endured.  Unexpected lessons come out of life circumstances.  Sharing what we learn about how God helped can be a great asset to help others.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 tells us: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 
We are comforted by Christ so that we, in turn, can be comforters for others.  In doing so, we concentrate on others and heal faster from our own pain.  It feels good when we are used by God to help others!  When you are suffering, look around and see who else is suffering.  How can you help?  James says we can be thankful that we have suffered so that we can be used by God.  When you suffer, you learn about pain and that causes us to understand and to care for others in their trial.  That is why God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.

Scripture to Claim:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

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