Helen walked into the church humming Victory in Jesus. Her week consisted of car troubles, worrisome doctor reports, and news of her daughter’s failed marriage, but still the words of her favourite hymn went through her mind. She knew to trust in her Lord. Hard yes, but she chose joy.
She sat near the back, opened her Bible and the church bulletin. Helen liked to meditate on the passage before the pastor spoke.
She heard a commotion at the entrance and turned to see Mabel rushing into the sanctuary flailing her arms as she talked to everyone in sight.
Lord, help her not to sit near me. I can’t take her today.
The shuffling of feet alerted Helen of God’s sense of humour.
Mabel plopped herself into the pew beside Helen.
“Oh my, what a week I’ve had. Listen to this,” she said. She counted on her fingers as she continued. “First, the cat had fleas, then the budgie died, then my fridge went on the fritz, then I broke three nails on the way to church. Can you believe it?”
Her run-on sentence made Helen wonder if she ever took a breath when talking.
To make matters worse, Mabel’s overpowering lily-of-the-valley scent caused Helen’s sinuses to start filling up. She rubbed her temples.
Mabel grunted and pointed to a young couple settling into a pew a few rows ahead. “And look, they’re wearing jeans to church. Really? Where’s their respect for God? We’re in His house.”
Helen sighed and continued to rub her temples.
Lord, I claim victory in You.
Mabel elbowed her. “Helen, cat got your tongue today?”
Like I can get a word in edgewise.
Helen smiled as the band began to sing their first song. “I heard an old, old story…”
She stood without any prompting and joined in as loud as she could.
Thank you, Lord.
Do you know anyone like Mabel? People whose glass is always half empty? They look at the negative side of everything. I’m sure you’re thinking of someone right now. I am.
Annoying, aren’t they? (Yes, but we still need to love them.)
Everyone else wants to steer clear of them or tell them to stop complaining. Their woes seem to grow every time you see them. They forget to look at the positive side, and slowly bitterness takes over.
Is that you?
I realize we all go through major hardships and sometimes it’s difficult not to get down and let it consume us. I’ve been there too, but we need to try our best to look to God for help to get through it.
I still remember my mom’s comment after finding out she had an inoperable brain tumour. Her thoughts immediately went to her deceased husband. “I’m so glad Bert isn’t here. This would be too hard on him.” Then she clasped her hands together and said, “Well, I’ve had a good life.”
She looked on the bright side of her illness and radiated joy wherever she went. Her catch phrase over her last few months on earth was “God is good…ALL the time.”
Even though it wasn’t easy, she claimed victory.
We need to do the same. Let’s let others see our glass half full!
Victory in Jesus (public domain)
I heard an old, old story, how a Saviour came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory
Oh victory in Jesus, my Saviour forever
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood