I just have to share this devotion from Max Lucado. This truly spoke to me. I have been put into a difficult with my new job. I am replacing someone who has been let go but they asked to stay and train me. She is not a happy woman. And I do feel for her and I am trying to be so careful to be sensitive to her. But you know what I have learned? She is just not a happy person anyway you look at it. And that negative energy and disposition makes the work place full of negative energy and a disposition that is very short of being kind and sweet. Have you ever worked with someone who looks for the "wrong" in others? The one who does not listen to what you are saying but turns it around to make it as if YOU are not the one listening? Asked a question of someone answers in an exasperated way letting all know within hearing distance that she is annoyed with the question? Well, that is how this woman is. And it has frustrated me. I have been without a job for over 2 years. This job is nearly a rocks throw from my home. Do I believe that this job is an answer to prayer and where the Lord wants me to be at the moment? Yes, I do. Is it an ideal job? Sadly, no it is not. It is a THUD for me. There are many less than ideal situations about this job that I won't get into here. And I have been second guessing myself.....This devotion made me sit up and take light of the attitude that I had regarding my situation. God has me here for a purpose. It is my responsibility to listen to the thump and the thud and to make sense of it in my life. How I respond is crucial. I need to keep a positive prospective. I need to be a ray of sunshine in an office situation that is dark and a bit dreary. I rejoice in this new job! I rejoice that God is testing me in dealing with others. I rejoice that there are going to be some very obvious challenges in this work. I rejoice in the lessons I will be learning from my shortcomings. I rejoice in the positive influence that I can be with those around me. I pray that I will listen to God and be His shining light here. I pray that when I make a mistake that I can admit it and move on and learn from it. I thank God and sing praises to Him for placing me right where He wants me to be! I am thankful that He continues to work on this old vessel. May I please Him.
When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it “sings,” it’s ready. If it “thuds,” it’s placed back in the oven.
The character of a person is also checked by thumping. Been thumped lately?
Late-night phone calls. Grouchy teacher. Grumpy moms. Burnt meals. Flat tires. You’ve-got-to-be-kidding deadlines. Those are thumps. Thumps are those irritating inconveniences that trigger the worst in us. They catch us off guard. Flat-footed. They aren’t big enough to be crises, but if you get enough of them, watch out! Traffic jams. Long lines. Empty mailboxes. Dirty clothes on the floor. Even as I write this, I’m being thumped. Because of interruptions, it has taken me almost two hours to write these two paragraphs. Thump. Thump. Thump.
How do I respond? Do I sing? Or do I thud?
Jesus said that out of the nature of the heart a man speaks (Luke 6:45). There’s nothing like a good thump to reveal the nature of a heart. The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to-day living.
If you have a tendency to thud more than you sing, take heart.
The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to day living.
There is hope for us “thudders”:
1. Begin by thanking God for thumps. I don’t mean a half-hearted thank-you. I mean a rejoicing, jumping-for-joy thank-you from the bottom of your heart (James 1:2). Chances are that God is doing the thumping. And he’s doing it for your own good. So every thump is a reminder that God is molding you (Heb. 12:5–8).
2. Learn from each thump. Face up to the fact that you are not “thump-proof.” You are going to be tested from now on. You might as well learn from the thumps—you can’t avoid them. Look upon each inconvenience as an opportunity to develop patience and persistence. Each thump will help you or hurt you, depending on how you use it.
3. Be aware of “thump-slump” times. Know your pressure periods. For me Mondays are infamous for causing thump-slumps. Fridays can be just as bad. For all of us, there are times during the week when we can anticipate an unusual amount of thumping. The best way to handle thump-slump times? Head on. Bolster yourself with extra prayer, and don’t give up.Shaped by God
Remember, no thump is disastrous. All thumps work for good if we are loving and obeying God.
From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado
UpWords®, the Teaching Ministry of Max Lucado
is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. You can partner with us to help others take one step closer to Jesus.
UpWords | PO Box 692170 | San Antonio, TX 78269