MY GOOD FRIEND JANE and I worked together for many years. She’s one of the brightest, most creative, thoughtful, and insightful people I know. She always had a picture of a lotus flower in her office, but I never even noticed the uniqueness of the picture. Then I watched as she went through some difficult times working with and for people who were “passive aggressive,” e.g., individuals who never dealt directly with her about a problem but were always willing to talk to others. Those types of individuals are very insecure, but, unfortunately, they don’t hurt themselves; they make life difficult for others. One day I was trying to encourage her as we talked about the challenges she faced. The picture of the lotus flower came up and she encouraged me.

If you aren’t into plants or flowers, you might not know much about the lotus flower. I certainly didn’t. What I learned is that it only blooms in the mud and the muck, which is not a pleasant environment at all. Jane told me the picture reminded her that in the middle of the “mud and muck” of life or work, we can still bloom and be beautiful. We don’t have to be defined by our environment or the circumstances. It was an important lesson for me … and for you too.

You might feel like you are in the “mud and muck” of life right now. Your “mud and muck” might be that you don’t have a job and, yes, maybe you got the “short end of the stick” and weren’t treated fairly. You feel uncertain about who you are now that you’ve lost your position. You’re concerned about finances. This may have stressed a relationship.

Whatever the case, you have a choice to make about how you deal with it. You can be inwardly focused on the “crap” you’re dealing with and be miserable. It’s easy to do and there are plenty of people who will feel sorry for you. You can even have a “pity party” each day if you want. Or you can be a lotus flower and triumph over your circumstances. Remember what it says in Ecclesiastes 3:11,

[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.

This can be your time, right now, to bloom and be beautiful despite the “mud and muck.” Don’t let this experience define you in a negative way. Rise above your circumstances. Be determined that you will flourish. Keep your focus on God, not your circumstances. Remember that God will meet every need as we turn everything over to him. Enjoy blooming!

This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them , By author Dale Kreienkamp.


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