Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Are you the kind of person who is prone to look on the bright side, or do you fixate on the shadows?
When it comes to offering heartaches, life can be quite generous. The longer we live in this fallen world, the more acquainted we become with suffering. Things do not go our way. We get dealt bad hands. No matter how we choose to phrase it, life can stink sometimes.
If we are not careful, we will see little reminders of our frustrations everywhere we look. Rather than looking at your car in the garage and being thankful that you own a vehicle (and the garage where it is housed), you think about how you cannot afford your neighbor’s sports car. God has blessed you with a mode of transportation, but the sight of it makes you angry. That is how you know your focus is in the wrong place.
In the Bible’s opening book we read about Joseph. Although his father loved him more than his ten older brothers, it was not an easy house to grow up in. His brothers were jealous and despised him. His mother died when he was young. His stepmothers did not make things any easier for him. You know the story—he was assaulted and left for dead by his siblings, and was only saved when they decided to sell him into slavery.
Later in life Joseph had two sons of his own, and we are given this little note in Genesis 41:51:
“Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. ‘For,’ he said, ‘God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.’”
Everything about Egypt could have been a reminder of his troubled home life. Every single thing in that country was a reminder that he was sold and abandoned by his family. But Joseph was determined to think positive. The sight of his son—born to an Egyptian woman—would serve as a constant reminder of God’s blessing. If there was no Egypt, there would be no Manasseh. He could be angry forever over that which he could not control, or he could be thankful for his family. Joseph chose the latter.
Maybe you need to focus on some constant reminders of the goodness of God. You need a Manasseh in your life. What tangible object can serve as a visual reminder of God’s goodness? Find it, and display it prominently where it can be a constant reminder of the blessings God has brought into your life.