choosing joy quotes

Occasions to See God at Work

“The challenge he poses is to discern in the midst of our darkness the light of God…How radically new my life would be if I were willing to move beyond blaming to proclaiming the works of God in our midst. I don’t think it has much to do with the exterior of life. All human beings have their tragedies – death, depression, betrayal, poverty, separation, loss, and so on. We seldom have much control over them. But do we choose to live them as occasions to blame, or as occasions to see God at work?” – Henri Nouwen, 1996

In getting ready for retreats, one of the ideas that keeps coming back in conversation is the notion that each of us can choose to “be bitter or better,” that we can “choose to be right or kind.” Many great minds have stated this idea in various ways – each honing in on the same thing – we can not choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to it. Would it not be wonderful to choose to see things as leading us to the light, revealing part of God’s work?

Cemetery Angel: Stirling
Taken at Old Town Cemetery in Stirling, Scotland

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  • Liz
    February 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

    This goes along with something I found in our Bible study manual on character rebuilding.

    “When you start viewing your circumstances as God’s character-deepening tools, then you’re ready for your part in character-building collaboration”- Katie Brazelton

    When I read that the first time it hit me like a rock. Instead of blaming God on all the wrong that happens I need to use it as a tool to make myself better. It was an awesome revelation to me.