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It could be worse – Friday’s Fave Five

Friday's Fave Five at Living to Tell the StoryThe car wreck that could have killed, but instead just left a bruise.

The lump that could have been cancer, but turned out benign.

The job cuts that reached the next cubicle, but stopped at your desk.

Things that are bad. But could have been worse.

Last Saturday, we watched on TV as Auburn’s Zac Etheridge took a hit during the football game. He collapsed on the ground. He tried to move, but coulZack Etheridge tells about his neck injurydn’t.

Players took a knee in prayer. Rodney Scott, an Ole Miss player trapped underneath Zac, didn’t even move, but lay perfectly still, for fear of what else might happen if he shifted position and jostled Zac’s body.

Zac couldn’t get up. “I was in shock just not being able to move,” he said. “The only thing I could say was, ‘Jesus, Jesus’ . . . just calling out his name.

They moved Zac to a stretcher. And when he gave a little thumbs-up, the crowd roared.

What could have happened, didn’t.

He “only” has a cracked fifth vertebrae and torn ligaments. He may or may not play football ever again. But he says he’s blessed that he’s able to walk, and he expects a full recovery. [Read Zac’s story or watch it.]

Zac and his family praise God for that. Me, too.

But rewind. If Zac had immediately popped up after the hit, like he usually did, would we have praised God? Maybe at the end of the game we would have said, “Thanks for no injuries.” But not like we’re praising him now.

When things are going great, we can easily forget God.
And when things are going horribly, we can easily resent God.

But when there’s a little trouble that could get worse, but doesn’t, we’re grateful and give him honor. I can’t explain it, but I observe it and often live it. For example, . . .

1. Rest
I’m a horrible sleeper and had some very restless nights this week . . .

. . . but at least I slept a full seven hours straight last night! Thank you, God, for sweet rest.

2. Working in town
Jeff worked a lot of overtime this week and we didn’t see each other as much as we like to . . .

. . . but at least he has a job and gets to come home to us at the end of the day instead of sleeping in a hotel room in Denver. Thank you, God, for providing for us.

3. Healing   
My sweet 15-yr-old neighbor was hospitalized this week for respiratory distress and they still have no diagnosis . . .

. . . but at least the doctors could give her breathing treatments, oxygen, and steroids, and she is greatly improved and back at home. Thank you, God, for hospitals and medicines and wonderful neighbors.

4. Visits
My college daughter may miss every Thanksgiving meal we have this year . . .

. . . but at least we’ll get to see her before and after, and she’ll be loved wherever she is. Thank you, God, for time spent together.

5. Glasses
I think my vision has taken another small detour in the wrong direction lately . . .

. . . but at least I have reading glasses when I need them, and an eye doctor available when I choose to go. Thank you, God, for the ability to see.

* * *

Yes, things could be worse. MUCH worse . . .

. . . but instead, they’re good. VERY good! Thank you, God.

Rejoice always, 
pray without ceasing, 
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

(Join Susanne and the gang
for more Friday’s Fave Five.)


Debbie Petras said...

Lisa, I love how you took each situation and put it into proper perspective as a child of God. Yes, life is hard but without God I couldn't imagine how it would be. You write so beautifully!


Melis said...

Lisa, this was such an AWESOME list! how you captured each moment that we can become soo down about...and show how blessed we are!!! A - MA - ZING! thank you for this!!

Have a great weekend!

Melli said...

Lovely! I liked that! God liked that too! I'm sure!

Hazel said...

Oh I love the way you see things. Your 'but at least' -- that's where the excellent teaching follows. It's effective to me. I like the positive vibe. Thanks a lot!

Susanne said...

It's all in our perspective, isn't it? I love the way you looked at your situations this week and were able to thank God for the good in it!

Lisa Hellier said...

This is coram deo to me. Living life before the face of God acknowledging His hand in every affliction and victory knowing that as aliens that wait for a real city, there is still real life that must take place--in humble gratitude for the life that is given by Providence. Really liked this post.

Brenda said...

I like the way you choose to look at things. Life can be hard, but there are always many things to be thankful for.

nikkipolani said...

I like your take on the week, Lisa. Sometimes I feel like I could do an anti-fff post, but at the end, new real fff's would show up. And praise God for all the provision you have in your life.

Willow said...

Lisa, I agree with everyone's comments about how much we all appreciated your 'at leasts'. So often we forget just how much God blesses us in the 'bad' stuff.

Donnetta said...

WOW! Thanks for such profound thoughts and helping my perspective to shift just slightly. Just what I needed today.


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