Birthday at the Park – What Could be Better?
Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. This special day has fallen right in the middle of our family’s visit back to America, so in order to plan ahead we asked her a month ago how she wanted to celebrate. We looked at what city we would be in and had her find something fun to do. She found this little kid’s amusement park with some rides and a petting zoo.
She was so happy to find this place and had since been really looking forward to her birthday. This was exactly what we hoped for because we didn’t want her to feel overlooked with all the other things we would be doing back in America. This week she had been counting down the hours to go to this park.
We get up in the morning and drive an hour to get to this park only to find that the park was closed.
Tears flowed. What are we to do? We had checked everything beforehand; there was no sign of this closure. Even so, it didn’t matter now. Elizabeth was crying in the backseat.
My wife and I pulled out the smart phones and started searching for replacement sites for her birthday. We found a couple possibilities, which Elizabeth agreed to. Her tears subsided and she then had a wonderful rest of the day.
I was so proud of her. She could have let this disappointment ruin her whole birthday. She had looked forward to this special trip for a month, and she ended up with a backup plan. I don’t know if I would have handled it so well.
What I Learned from My 8 Year Old’s Birthday
Depression is a real killer, and even as I write these next few statements, I know it can be hard to overcome. But for some of us, we welcome depression in our lives longer than is necessary. If we would just spend as much time thinking about what God has done for us as we do thinking about what we feel hasn’t gone right, we would be on the path to recovery.
When Paul tells us to forget what has passed and press forward to what’s ahead, this is part of what he meant (Philippians 3:13). Don’t allow the pain in the past to dictate your future story. It was for the joy set before Jesus that He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus thought about the good part to keep Him going through the hardships. There are parts of the Bible that we take lightly but are real paths of freedom for us. We really do need to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).
Some of you need to know that you are free to stop thinking about that bad event in your life. Whatever is pure, excellent, and praiseworthy is a healthy place for your heart to rest (Philippians 4:8). Focusing on other things is detrimental to our soul. It steals life in our own lives and in those who we could be giving life to. Our children are affected. Our spouses, co-workers, friends, are all affected by what we chose to focus our thoughts on.
Some of you are having a hard to time hearing from God because of this. We are so focused on the negative things that have happened to us that we can’t hear what God is saying now. God words always have life and hope, so if our minds are elsewhere, we will not hear what His voice.
Forgive those that may have hurt you. Forgive yourself for your willingness to dwell on negative events in your life. Choose life for yourself. Choose to believe God has something better for you. Rejoice in His goodness. Rejoice that He has adopted you as His child. Give thanks to God that He makes all things good, and give Him the right to turn your life around. He wants what is best for you.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.