Monday Morning Devotion-September 23, 2019
A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24
In deciding on a devotion to write this week I was torn between two titles: "Oh Well"
or "Be Happy." Chose the first, so next week we will "Be Happy." However, that doesn't mean that you have to wait 'til next week to be happy. :)
Let me share with you what Jesus says in Sarah Young's devotional lesson for September 20th. It's something to think about.
"Try to see things more and more from My perspective. Let the Light of My Presence so fully fill your mind that you view the world through Me. When little things don't go as you had hoped, look to me lightheartedly and say. 'Oh well.'"
I don't know how that bit of advice struck you, but it gave me pause to think about all those little aggravating things that crop up during the course of the day. You know the ones that frustrate you and make you say: "Nothing is easy anymore."
When these kinds of things come about what does shrugging your shoulders and simply saying "Oh well" do for you.
Young explains: "This simple discipline can protect you from being burdened with an accumulation of petty cares and frustrations. If you practice this diligently, you will make a life-changing discovery: You realize that most of the things that worry you are not important. If you shrug them off immediately and return your focus to Me, you will walk through your days with lighter steps and a joyful heart."
The fact of the matter is that our steps are---as today's Proverb says---directed by the Lord. If we are not careful it becomes easy to step off the path that He is leading us down and get frustrated, confused and out of touch with Him. It's these little problems that can cause you to do that. And worse they can lead to bigger problems.
Here's what the Life Application Bible says concerning Proverbs 20:24:
"We are often confused by the events around us. Many things we will never understand, others will fall into place in years to come as we look back and see how God was working. This Proverb counsels us not to worry if we don't understand everything as it happens. Instead we should trust that God knows what He is doing, even if His timing or design is not clear to us."
Turning to Psalm 37:23-24 we find this promise: "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm. Although he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand."
When you "Oh Well" the situation it has the effect of somehow making the load seem lighter and more manageable. This simple pause can redirect you to the One who has the solution. Additionally, Young points this out:
"When serious problems come your way, you will have more reserves for dealing with them. You will not have squandered your energy on petty problems. You may even reach the point where you can agree with the apostle Paul that all your troubles are light and momentary, compared with the eternal glory being achieved by them."
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18:
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Sometimes these earthly problems don't seem to be light and it is hard to know if they are just momentary. Part of the concern is that small problems do not turn into big problems. Saying "oh well" may not solve the problem or completely chase away its existence, but it sheds a different light on it.
It turns our focus where it should be, instead of being over-wrought it gives us a moment to redirect our thinking where we need to place it. It's putting the ball in the Lord's court so to speak. Not that you are washing your hands of it and saying: "Here Lord it is all yours. I can't handle it."
It simply gives you a moment to share the annoyance, aggravation or frustration with Him. He already knows you are upset. "Oh well", gives you the momentary opportunity to change the train of thinking. It signals a change in your mindset. Instead of feeling like you want to hit something or say bad words, it serves as a transitional thought.
You have been uptight. And that's not good. "Oh well" says you aren't going to let this aggravation make you be that way anymore. "Hey, this is not the end of the world. I'm moving on." But the Holy Spirit is moving with you. Together the focus is on bigger and better things.
So next time an annoyance comes your way and another one is waiting around the corner take a moment. Say "Oh Well." Then enlist the help of the Lord and move on past the irritation to more important things in life.
Prayer: Lord help us to remember to use "oh well" to bridge the gap between us and enable us to move on to bigger and better things. Amen!