A Novel Approach to Your Problems
by Julie Branch
When I was quite young I enjoyed reading the early English novel and exciting adventure Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. When Crusoe found himself on a deserted island one of the first things he did was to make out a list. On one side of the list he wrote down his problems; on the other side of the list he wrote down his blessings. For example, on the problem side he wrote: I do not have any clothes. On the blessing side he wrote: But it’s warm and I don’t really need any. On the one side he wrote: All of the provisions were lost; on the other side he wrote: But there’s plenty of fresh fruit and water on the island. And so forth down the list.
In so doing, he was able to face his difficult situation with positive solutions. He found that for every negative aspect of his predicament, there was a positive aspect, something for which he could be thankful. Indeed, there is great value in selecting a beneficial perspective by which to tackle seasons of adversity. It is easy to find ourselves on an island of despair. In those moments, it is time that we sit down and take an inventory of our blessings.
In the words of the psalmist, “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2). I suppose we could all find reasons for which to complain, but this verse reminds us to find reasons for which to give praise. Perhaps we are long overdue in assessing God’s kindnesses to us and expressing our thankfulness to Him. But it seems like a worthwhile activity to me-especially at this time of the year. My pastoral advice to you: Don’t let this Season of Thanksgiving pass by without finding reasons for thanksgiving. Focus on God’s goodness and forget not all his benefits…
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