Optimism in Strange Places

[283 words]

The stranger approached an elderly lady wearing a faded old dress and sitting under a dimly lit archway. All he knew was that he needed to buy a corsage, and the locals all called her “the flower lady.” While purchasing the flowers he commented, “My, you look happy today.” Her reply was, “I certainly am.” The stranger boldly asked, “Don’t you have some problems in life?” Her reply was classic: “Nobody gets to my age without some problems, but it is a lot like Jesus on Good Friday. Things looked kind of bad, but Sunday was coming.”

Part of a Christian’s optimism lies in the reality that most problems are going to pass away. The cold and its cough will finally end. The layoff will end in a call back. Losing streaks do not last forever, and the crying baby will learn to sleep through the night. However, Christians have also learned that the negatives that come to our lives may actually be blessings themselves. Illness opens eyes to see the value of life. The untimely death of a friend motivates us to live our lives more fully. Even sin deepens our appreciation for God’s grace and the power of forgiveness. Tragedies name tag may actually read “Blessing.”

A wise poet wrote, “When sorrows come, and they will, It seems life’s roads are all uphill. The winter sky is gray, but spring is only weeks away. When all the trees you thought were dead shall wear new leaves and buds of red. When sorrows come, and they will. Have faith my friend, and peace be still.”

The optimist’s pocket is filled with patience and faith.

Don Loftis
Old Hickory, TN

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