Prayer and perspective on hopeless situations



Last week we talked about the pertinence of persistent prayer. Today there is another ‘P’ that helps shape our lives: perspective. And somehow, Gummy’s diagnosis of astigmatism and far sightedness at six, as well as my mom’s sudden but temporal blindness on her left eye prompted me to reflect on the eye, eyesight and perception.

And since its the start of the year still, it might be a good time to refocus the lenses through which we see life.

How do we perceive things? Are we positive or pessimistic? Do you know that the way you choose to see things influences the way you feel and consequently determine the way you act? And your conscious response or rash reaction to an unexpected situation reveals a lot about your default disposition?

For instance, how do you respond to EDSA traffic? Do you roll your eyes and complain uncontrollably because the red lights are such an eyesore? Or are you grateful for a long time given to you to think of ideas, pray, reflect on matters, or prepare for your meeting because you know that God has a purpose for every­thing—even for delays and traffic?

When you enter your child’s playroom and all the boxes are out and toys scattered everywhere, do you nag endlessly or do you make it an opportunity to teach your child about packing away, being good stewards and being mindful of others?

Matthew 6:22 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” This verse speaks so loudly to me about the effect of what we see.

We should always pray to be conscious to always see the good in every situation. We pray in Romans 8:28 perspective—that even in the most hopeless and heartbreaking of situations, I will always know that the hand of God is at work and that things will always turn out for the good.

Be careful, children can easily copy their parents’ ways

I anchor my hope on this and look forward to a good outcome. Why? Because come to think of it, when a bad situation arises and I add in complaints, criticisms and whatnots because I chose to see the downside, I’m sure nothing good will come out.

My words and worries certainly do not alleviate nor change the circumstances. More often than not, it even fans the flames.

But it is noticeably different when we choose to see things on a different light—when we choose to see it constructively, as something the Lord uses to refine us and make us develop Christ-likeness and not as a bother or delay. This is most especially true when we have no control over situations. So what do we do? We pray to The One who has control.

Prayer and the right perspective of things do the following for us:

1. We are spared from negativity. And we can be light to guide others too.

2. We are released from the burden of stressing over something that we should not be stressed about. Do you know that stress is just an excuse that we make up as a scapegoat for our being control-freaks?

3. It teaches us that there is always something to be grateful for. Always.

4. It shows us that we have the freedom to choose to see the good, and not give in to the pull of the bad.

5. It shows us that though we are not in control, God is. And we can freely rest in Him. [Yes, I believe EDSA traffic has a lot to teach us.]

As parents, we are and will be placed in diverse situations in this lifetime of teaching—involving or not our children. The way we handle those situations, especially in the presence of our kids, impacts the way they would respond to similar instances. Our children watch what we do and those images are imprinted in their consciousness.

What we see affects what we do and say. As such, may we train our eyes to always be aware of the good so that our children too grow up with this God-ward, positive, perspective in life.


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