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Bill & Tammy Woods
SEPT. 2010

The Right Perspective

   I don't feel like writing this. I don't feel like doing much of anything except maybe hiding under my covers right now. The thing is I just don't have time to indulge my emotions. Can you identify?

   The scripture gives us some very important advice and lessons about bringing in to captivity our thoughts, about renewing our mind and about walking by faith and not by sight. One of the most important things I have learned over my years of missions service is that the quicker I can get control over my mind and emotions (by the grace of God),  the more enjoyable my life and my service are. It's when I feel like I have a right to feel sorry for myself or that somehow I deserve to be depressed that I ultimately get myself into trouble both mentally and spiritually.

   Recently, I was asked to give counsel to a young woman. She had a good job, was deeply loved by her parents and was in good health, although she had recently recovered from a badly sprained ankle.

She had fallen into depression and had become dissatisfied with her job and felt her co-workers were unkind and were "out to get her". The problem was that this exact same scenario had played out before just a few years earlier. She had changed jobs only to find herself in the exact same position but now with a whole different group of people.  As she talked I kept trying to guide her back to her relationship with the Lord.  Finally, she admitted that she had grown cold in her love for the Lord and as I kept probing for the root of her depression, she admitted that she was holding God responsible for her sprained ankle and the months it took her to get full recovery of her foot. She was angry with God.  She was angry about her foot, angry about her job and co-workers. In essence, she felt like she had gotten the raw end of the deal with God.  She wanted to put all the blame on God and take no responsibility for her own actions. She tearfully repented before the Lord as we prayed together.

   As I was leading her out of the room we passed our baby nursery. In that moment, I know God spoke to me to take this young woman in to see one our sleeping baby girls. I quietly unsnapped three month old Rebecca's footy pajamas to reveal her perfect little calf and foot.  The young woman who had been smiling at the precious sleeping baby gasped as I exposed Rebecca's foot.

"I think you need a little perspective." I said, as she stared at Rebecca's leg.

   I told her, "This baby was born without a femur and she has no knee. God did not "do" this to her. Nor did he make her mother abandon her by leaving her in a box in the middle of a market. But I want to tell you what He did do for her; he rescued her by bringing her to our home where she will get the very best treatment that we can find for her.  A home where she is loved, nurtured and where she will eventually come to discover Him for herself. When you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself because of your ankle please remember how blessed you are that you have two legs that function."

Maybe this letter finds you today in a place where you have let your emotions take over your life. And yes, perhaps you have suffered greatly and there are "reasons" for your depression, anger, sadness or bitterness. I just want to remind you that Christ has paid such a tremendous price for you to be able to walk in victory. His promises and his counsels are true and if we put into practice what His word says we can overcome all things through Christ who strengthens us. Even our feelings.

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