Thursday, January 19, 2017

When Feeling Down with Bad News Look for the Good

By Jean Blackmer

“I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

It’s 2017 and it’s a crazy world.

Everywhere I look and anything I read is bad news. Racial tensions, political sparring, wars, starving refugees, natural disasters, broken relationships, a sudden death in the family, mall brawls and so much more. I start to feel discouraged and wonder Where is God in all of this?

If I let myself dwell on these negative events I spiral down and feel disheartened. Then I carry this negativity into my thought life, into my home, and into my closest relationships. I start to focus on differences rather than common ground. I let my fears dominate my hopes. I find myself uttering words of criticism rather than admiration.

I even experience bad dreams revolving around scary things happening. The other night I woke up myself, and my husband, shouting my son’s name after a dream where he was on an airplane to travel for the holidays and the plane was crashing. I jolted awake and my heart was pounding. No way was I going to fall back to sleep. So, I went to my bible app on my phone and looked up one of my go-to verses when I’m overwhelmed with negativity in the world, Psalm 27:13:

“I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

For me, this calms me down and I find a sense of peace in the chaos. I know we will experience an eternity of love and peace but this scripture reminds me that I can be confident that I WILL SEE the GOODNESS of the Lord in our world today.

Then I consciously shift my thoughts and open my eyes to see goodness amidst the bad. If I see a news story about a tragedy I look for those running to help. If I hear about refugees I remember what people are doing, including my own church, to save lives and make this world a better place.

Sometimes I have to dig deeper to find a good story to read, watch a heart-warming documentary, an inspirational TED Talk or a funny YouTube video to get me out of my depressive funk.

I also pay attention to the beauty around me: the tree outside my window with little icicles dangling from a branch; the precious smile on a baby’s face at the store; the delight in a simple walk with a friend.

Then, and this is the best remedy for the blues, I take the next step and DO something good. Prepare a special dinner for my family. Sit and have tea with my 87-year-old neighbor. Make and take sandwiches to the homeless hanging out at the creek in town. Help with a food bank or sign up to sponsor a child monthly in a third world country.

We can do so much good with each precious moment we have 

if we set our minds to do it. 

Realistically, 2017 will have its ups and downs. Hopefully, we’ll handle the ups and downs with looking for and doing good.Then I think we'll find joy in the midst of the turmoil because we will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living.

Don’t stop looking!

What's something good you’ve seen recently? We love to hear from you!

Jean Blackmer is married to Zane and mother to three boys. She’s authored three books, including MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, contributed content to more than 20 books, and written articles for a variety of magazines. She loves her family, chocolate, scuba diving and being outside as often as possible. She's managing the blog for the Flatirons Women's Ministry and is looking for writers! 

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