Life deals it blows to us as I have shared in past blogs. But it also deals us some good hands. How do we deal with happiness and prosperity? It is not our duty to be unhappy so as to demonstrate to the world that we are against worldliness. God truly wants us to be happy and to be in love and to enjoy all that He has created. The world of beauty and art and friendship and growing things and the zest for life are all ours and for that, we need thank the good Lord. If, though, this is all you can stand and deal with, you are weak. If you can only sing when happy, you are not following life’s purpose.
- Stanley Jones tells the story of Dr. Robert Blair in his book Abundant Living:
“He went to China on an adventure of love and there caught an eye infection that left him blind. His wife died of a painful cancer; one son died of Addison’s disease, another from an infection; his daughter caught infantile paralysis and can walk only on crutches. Between them, they had a pair of crutches and a Seeing Eye dog to begin life over again. Was that all? Oh no. They had an unconquerable spirit. Dr. Blair was pastor of a church, and the daughter ran the home—on a pair of crutches—and they were radiant. And now the sequel. The remaining son was killed on Okinawa, and father became ill with painful skin disease and had to resign his church. But father and daughter are both still on top—still radiant. They have been initiated into a secret. They can stand privation because they can use privation.”
I have had a particularly bad two years, but I have had some really great years as well. Life’s deepest secret is that whether good or bad we must be able to stand each and use each and smile. But here is the kicker. Not only are we to smile but sing! Yes sing when times are good, but also sing when times are bad. Only then can we be used by God for His purpose. I can tell you that I am writing this so that I hear it. I have not sung much in the past two years. It embarrasses me to say that my idol was self-pity and envy.
Our country promises security through insurance, government, bank accounts, investments… but all are partial securities. All can disappoint. The ultimate security is in how we deal with insecurity. Do we sing? Do we smile? Do we thank God for both security and insecurity?
Paul has something to say about that, “After ordering them to be flogged…he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing…” (Acts 16:22-25 NIV) I could see the praying for that is natural for me to pray in all circumstances, but singing?
There is an initiation fee and a password to this secret society, says Jones. It is an open secret that Jesus demands from all of us. If you give partial, He will give partial. The price is yourself and all you have. If you want total security, you will have to give it all to Him to become wholly secure and invulnerable. In that is perfect security. This is a hard lesson, I know, but if in life you have found few true answers, try this on because the gift back to you is invaluable and worth the price.
As to the password, I go to Jones to find out. Philippians 4: 13 NIV says, “In him…I am able for anything.” The password is “anything.” Repeat it often so that it becomes a part of your very fiber. “Anything.” Through arrows and hardship, and through the best of times…anything. You are ready for anything from anywhere.
Now whisper the password to yourself “anything” and put a note to yourself by your nightstand “anything.” Go to bed and wake up with the password, “anything.”
Your ultimate security and joy can be found in good, bad, and indifferent. “Anything.” What song are you singing?
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