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    Healthy Living: Strength from Above

    Our greatest “reinforcement” is not far from us — God is forever at hand. Psalm 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” It does not say that the world will not be shaken; rather, it says that I will not be shaken. On this side of heaven, that is often all we can hope for. God has promised it will be sufficient.

    If you face difficult circumstances, you may not be able to see great leaps of progress or frequent milestones. Your efforts will require longer amounts of time, increased patience, decreased personal freedom, delayed gratification, and little appreciation for your efforts. With an acceptance of this reality, you become more like God, who since the fall experiences daily these constraints where we, his children are concerned:

    • We require greater amounts of time. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
    • He must show us infinite patience. “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath — prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory? (Romans 9:22-23).
    • He allows us to affect his plans. “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people” (Exodus 32:14).
    • He must wait for the fruition of his plans. “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:2).

    Because God knows about and understands dealing with difficult situations and challenging children, he will bless you in your efforts. He will give you strength for each battle. He will grant you his Spirit of patience sufficient for each day. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. If all of these sound on some days like hollow platitudes, remember what God deals with on a daily basis. This is not so you will try to compare yourself to God; rather, it is so you will understand the source of his empathy and recognize his power to empower you.

    You are not alone. Your children and family are not yours alone. Have faith through your special circumstances that God is able to triumph. Keep praying. Keep working. Keep believing. Keep watching. May his blessings pour down upon you and your family like rain.

    SOURCE: Chapter 10, “SOAR-ing Above Special Circumstances,” in Healthy Habits, Healthy Kid: A Practical Plan to Help Your Family by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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