“A few years ago a woman was standing on top of a fifty-four story building in New York City, ready to jump to her death. The police suicide squad took her threats extremely seriously. She didn't look the type, in her expensive dress and with her distinguished appearance, but regardless of her appearance, every attempt to convince her to get down from the ledge ended in failure. One of the police officers called his pastor to come to the scene and pray for the woman. His pastor came, and after appraising the situation, asked the police captain if he might try to get close enough to talk with the woman. The captain shrugged and said, "Sure, what have we got to lose?" The pastor started walking toward the woman, but she screamed as before, "Don't come any closer or I'll jump!" He took a step backward and called out to her, I'm sorry that you believe no one loves you. "This got her attention and also the attention of the suicide squad - it was such an unusual thing to say, "Your children and grandchildren must not love you. Apparently they never give you any attention," he continued. With this, the woman took a step toward the pastor and said, "My grandchildren do love me. My whole family does. My grandchildren are wonderful. I have eight grandchildren." The pastor took a step toward the woman and said, "Well then, you must be very poor, or you wouldn't want to take your own life." The woman, who was obviously overweight, said, "Do I look like I go without meals? We live in a very nice apartment in Central Park. The pastor then took another step and was only three feet from her. "Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don't understand." The woman thought for a moment and said, "You know, I don't really remember."
This true story ended with the pastor escorting the woman off the ledge and she showed him pictures of her grandchildren. She eventually became a volunteer on the city's suicide hotline. The pastor helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her. She learned that thankful people are happy people. "Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever" (Psalms 136:26). In this story, when the eyes of the woman were taken off from her dilemma by the assistance of the pastor towards the blessings she had received, her attention and focus was diverted to what matters the most in her life. How quickly we forget the many blessings we have received just because of one bad situation. I believe that we need to realize that negative circumstances are part of life and must expect them. To be surprised at their arrival in our life is denial on one’s part of its reality. One must realize this simple fact that there will be trials and problems and they can come through marriage, children, employment, friends and many others.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:33, “I have given you my peace because in this you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” Jesus gave us the focus that we need to have, i.e., his provision of peace and joy. We have lots of blessings more than trials and problems we will have. That is why when you count your blessings; a great discovery of this fact will be uncovered. As Canada has four seasons: summer, spring winter and fall, these seasons also parallel what we experience in one’s life. But the most important thing to remember about it is this: they come and go as part of the natural cycle of our environment. We cannot stop them from coming but we can only prepare for its arrival. And it is the same principle that must operate in our life today. Being armed with this knowledge provides us the necessary equipment to overcome and not to be overcome by them.
Life has many things to offer and trials are one of them, thus, let us see them as stepping stones for our growth and development rather than stumbling block along our path. In this way, we will be victorious always.
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