Hurricane Katrina forever changed New Orleans, and you. I do not know one person who did not at least give a couple of dollars to the Katrina fund. Hurricane Katrina has forever changed Texas, where I live, because many of her victims came and stayed here in Texas. 9/11 forever changed New York and you. You will never go through or to an airport the same way because of 9/11.
Whatever hurricane you are facing, by whatever name, it will forever change you and everyone around you. That is OK. You may be saying I do not want this problem, situation, quandary. I did not ask for it. I do not deserve it. As long as your hurricane is not OK with you, the changes will be negative. The minute you say this problem, situation, quandary is OK is the minute you will begin to see the seed of success.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 THE MESSAGE
There was a man who had 11 brothers. Ten of the brothers hated him. The brothers devised a plan to get rid of this man by selling him as a slave. He arrived in a country far from his birth and was put on a slave block, naked to be sold, again to the highest bidder. This was OK with him. How do I know that, because there is a statement at this point in the story, Joseph was a very prosperous man.
Would it be stated about you, that you were very prosperous, if you had been betrayed by your own family, sold and were on the block, naked to be sold again to the highest bidder. The definition of prosperous from Webster’s dictionary is : auspicious, favorable, marked by success or economic well-being, flourishing. To have this sentence written about you in these unfavorable circumstances would require you to be OK with betrayal, exposure and loss of freedom.
Joseph is sold to a good man, who notices his good attitude and puts him in charge of his entire household. There is someone else who notices Joseph and it is not his good attitude, but his good looks that attracts the owner’s wife. The owner’s wife attempts to seduce Joseph when her husband is out-of-town. Joseph resists her advances. Is he rewarded? No, when his owner returns, the wife tells him that Joseph attempted to rape her and Joseph is put in jail.
In jail for something he did not do, Joseph is OK. Joseph is OK because he tries to be helpful to his fellow inmates. If you were incarcerated for something you did not do, would you be helpful?
One of the inmates he helped, remembers his help and Joseph is called to help the king. Joseph is not arrogant or bitter, he is OK, because first he has a bath and shaves. He says if God will help him, he will help the king. Joseph is able to help the king and the king is so impressed with his good attitude that he puts him in charge of his kingdom.
Many years later the 10 brothers show up in front of Joseph, to ask him a favor. When they discover who they are asking the favor from, they are afraid. Joseph, who is OK with the hurricane that has been perpetrated against him, advises them not to be afraid and tells them how what they intended for evil, God used for good. The very evil perpetuated against Joseph was OK, it was the seed of his success, which he would share with them.
In light of this story, which you can find in Genesis 37- 47, are you OK with the hurricane that you are presently experiencing. Ten entire chapters of the Bible are devoted to this story.
Once you are OK with this negative situation, whether it is your fault or someone else’s, then you can begin to receive the answer and see the seed of your success.
I wish I could make this more complicated or difficult. It is only when we are OK and begin to thank God for this circumstance, that any answer emerges.
Here is the list of what I am OK with;
1. The diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
2. The loss of my job, because I was out 4 months for treatment.
3. Our current financial disaster because of the costs for the cancer treatment and that I am no longer employed.
4. The neuropathy in my hands and feet as a side effect from the cancer treatment.
5. The numbness and sharp pain in my right arm as a side effect from the cancer treatment.
I am in remission, I have many reasons to be thankful. These five very negative circumstances can be the seed of my success. I have to find it within myself (and with the help of my Lord) to be OK with these negative circumstances so that I can see the seed of my success. My desire is that I will be known as flourishing, and marked by success as I pass through this hurricane called Cancer.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 THE MESSAGE
I would love to have comments from you. Make a list of your “seeds of success”, try this revolutionary idea out, comment, then come back and let me know how it worked for you.