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Timothy Griffin: Looking Up

Look on the Bright Side

(Timothy Griffin)
December 7, 2012

looking_up.jpgFrom time-to-time, when someone I feel comfortable with tells me something that is distressful or irritating for them, I tell them to “look on the bright side.” Without fail they will ask, “what’s the bright side?” My answer is, “I don’t know, but find it and look on it.”

This morning, I had to use that technique on myself. You see, most mornings find me headed to the gym before heading to my office. Going to the gym means bringing my gym bag, toiletry bag, and a post- workout change of clothes. Today, as I was getting those necessary items out my van, it suddenly hit me that something vital was more-than-likely missing. I opened my gym bag and confirmed that I had indeed left my towel at home (23 minutes away) on the bed.

Though I was slightly irritated as I walked to the locker room to change from my workout clothes into my work clothes, I thought, it could have been worse. I could have gone and worked out and gotten to the locker room, all sweaty and then realized, I had no towel.

See without fail, in everything that we go through, there’s always a bright side if we’re willing to look for it. Sometimes looking for it requires nothing more than a look at the person next to you. You see as I expressed my problem to a guy in the locker room, he said “I hate when that happens.” But a few seconds later, he said, “if it makes you feel any better, I just realized I’m supposed to be sitting in a classroom taking a final.” Ouch!

We sometimes get so stuck on our own difficulties that we fail to realize that people all around us are going through things as well, and at least half the time, their “things” are worse than ours.

There are two lessons here. First, sharing is often the beginning to healing, because in communicating with others, as previously stated, you often find your problems pale in comparison or that others have gone through the same or similar difficulties.

But secondly, sharing also brings healing when a brother or sister in Christ takes you to scripture and helps you put your problems in perspective.

In II Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul, a man who knew something about problems -- from persecution to prison to thorns in the flesh says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I don’t desire to ever endure a debilitating illness or watch a loved one go through such an encounter, but Paul puts that and any other problem we can face in proper perspective, calling our problems “light momentary afflictions.”

As Christians, understanding that our earthly existence ultimately rolls into eternal life, lived in the presence of God, we should be able to look any peril in the face and claim the victory that has truly already been given to us.

Timothy Griffin serves as a Campus Pastor at Liberty University. The Campus Pastors Office exists to help produce students who have the highest standards of Christian conduct and Biblical principles so that they may reach people for Christ in whatever venue that the Lord may call them.