“My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed” (Job 20:2).
The way we perceive illness can have a profound impact upon our emotions. Our thoughts about what we are going through can make us feel worse.
If we believe we are in an unfair situation, or that “fate” has dealt us an unkind blow, or that we above all people are being singled out for misery, it can pull us down into negativity and discouragement.
In the play “Hamlet” Shakespeare’s character says: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Something similar is said by the Philosopher Epictetus: “People are not disturbed by events but by their opinions about events.”
It causes me to consider how a child in a cancer ward can smile and be cheerful, and yet some adults in perfect health are grumpy and complaining over the smallest issues. Lack of perspective and insight can color our emotions and blind us to the blessings all around us.
We should always be honest about our condition, and not continually hiding our feelings. Yet I can let my thoughts go down the path of feeling sorry for myself, thinking about the unfairness of illness and disease. Rather than being grateful to be alive, and appreciating time with friends and family, my perspective becomes skewed.
How much better to thank God for the small and large blessings of life, to appreciate every moment of every day. It is how we manage our thoughts that determines our attitude and reaction in many instances.
Though we cannot “think ourselves out of illness” there is no doubt that the path our thoughts take can determine whether we are grateful survivors or complaining and griping ill people.
Let us determine to keep our thoughts in perspective and always grateful for the Lord’s blessings.
Prayer: Dear Lord help us to get back up when life is getting us down. Help us to lift our head in praise rather than hang our head in defeat. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Though illness has at times gotten him down, with the Lord’s help he always gets back up again.
Are your thoughts determining how you feel? Maybe it is time to think again.
This song was recently chosen as #91 on a list of The Top 100 Christian Songs by Faith and Entertainment– “Changed” by Rascal Flatts. It has beautiful lyrics that I think you will relate to during this illness journey you are on. Illness does change us. Will you allow it to make you bitter or better? Hope this song blesses you. -Lisa