We have all suffered setbacks at some time or another.
The rejections, defeats and failures that all of us have experienced can create enough negative feelings to destroy us.
A number of years ago the ABC presented a series of interviews titled Elders with Andrew Denton.
One thing that most of the interviewees agreed on was the negative effect of unresolved bitterness and of being unforgiving, and therefore the absolute importance of setting it right.
So often the most painful wounds are not the scars that are outwardly seen, but the hidden wounds deep down in our hearts.
Being hidden, they are often the most difficult to deal with and consequently they are the most dangerous.
Setbacks in our lives can take the joy out of living. Our faith is weakened and if we collect enough hurts it will stop us from having any desire to move forward.
My simple message is not to allow the hurt to hurt you any more.
The Bible tells the story of an extraordinary man called Job.
He is described as blameless, upright, and one who feared God. Job had seven sons and three daughters, a beautiful family. He was considered ‘‘the greatest of all men in the East’’.
He had it all, yet lost it all in the twinkling of an eye.
He lost his health, wealth and family. He was hurting. His wife was hurting. His friends were hurting.
However in spite of all these setbacks Job was down but not out.
Although he lost much of his passion for life and God, he checked his negative thinking and firmly stated: ‘‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful.’’
How could any reasonable person make such a statement after undergoing so much hurt?
I have read that whales stop alongside rocks to scrape barnacles before setting off on migratory journeys.
In life, we pick up a collection of hurts that attach themselves to us like parasites, sapping the life out of us.
Like the whale, we need to scrape them off and we can do this by sincerely accepting and believing that God really loves us and he has our best interests at heart.
The Bible never tells us that it is easy, and, as Job found, there will be scars — but because of his confidence in God his life was completely restored.
Neither his wife nor his friends could help him; in the end it all came down to his faith and trust in God.
- George Deeble, Euroa Christian Fellowship