"More rainy weather could drive a man to drink," Ed, my neighbor next door, informed me. Ed has a drink of whiskey at certain times when the circumstances of his days are out of control and driving him nuts. Ed tells me it is better for him to have a glass of whiskey than to slap someone across the side of the head in his frustration.
It is a hard reality to face the truth that living by our willpower, determination and bulling will often have no affect on the circumstances of our lives. Ed is almost ready to begin harvesting at his farm, but the rain says, "Forget it." The weather can be a hard reality for a farmer to deal with.
I told Ed, "It could be worse. You could be a miner trapped underground and unable to get out for months. How hard it must be to be trapped and waiting for rescuers."
Ed's response was, "Has anyone told you that hearing that you could be worse off only makes a person want to slap the one who said it on the side of the head?"
"More rainy weather is like bugs covering the windshield," I told Ed. Saturday evening we were taking our granddaughter home to Saskatoon. The bugs continued to hit the windshield like rain all evening as we drove the hours away. We stopped at gas stations at Wynyard, Lanigan and in Saskatoon itself, to wash the bugs off the windshield so we could see. The front of our white van was black in dead bugs. If we were going to reach Saskatoon we had to drive through endless bugs. At this time of year, the bugs are not going to disappear just because I want to drive to Saskatoon. Ed may want to get harvesting, but that does not mean the rain will stay away. Reality is just as much about what we don't want as what we do want.
When we get what we don't want, we can feel hard-pressed on every side. We may allow ourselves to be driven to despair or drink. We may deny, ignore, or even reject what life gives us, but that won't change it. In the circumstances we don't like, we are given the opportunity to change ourselves most. It is another opportunity to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
The bible says it this way, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." It is easy to conform to the pattern of this world, which is focusing on what we want and being resentful when we get what we don't want. How we think about our circumstances is the key. Do we view our life as one of God's mercy for us through our faith in Christ? Do we want to offer our lives up to God as living sacrifices pleasing to Him in both our wanted and unwanted circumstances? God's will is good, pleasing, and perfect, and all our circumstances are an opportunity to transform our minds into finding out what God wants for us in what we are facing. No matter what happens to us, the Lord is near and we need not be anxious about anything. Seeing life this way renews our mind in peace.