Just Snap Out of It!

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Have you ever been in a situation with someone who was going through something temporary and you wanted to say to them, “Just Snap Out of It!”? I have and even if I haven’t said it, I have thought it. 

Three weeks ago, my husband hurt his knee at the gym. He was kind of moping around the house because he couldn’t go for a bike ride or do any physical activity. I knew he would get better in a few days and was very supportive on the outside, but inside I wanted to say, “Just Snap Out of It!” I thought I knew what he was going through; I just wanted him to skip feeling bad and move to being okay with it. You know what I mean, “Just pretend you are not going through the process.” 

Fast forward a couple of weeks; I woke up with vertigo. It was the day of a monthly luncheon I go to and I was really bummed I couldn’t go. Having had it before, I was also feeling bad because I knew I would have a few days or weeks of limited activity. My husband was very solicitous and took good care of me. He felt bad for me and was very understanding. He is a better person than I am and so I’m sure he wasn’t thinking, “Just Snap Out of It!”

You see, we never know what someone else is going through. As my husband pointed out when I read him the first few paragraphs of this post, “We don’t know the mental battle they may be fighting,” and that’s true. My husband just wasn’t bummed because of his knee pain, he was also thinking about the possibility of a knee replacement in his future. Because he is the strong silent type, he doesn’t communicate everything he is thinking and feeling.

When I was younger, I would have probably said to someone, “Just Snap Out of It!” when they were feeling bummed about a temporary situation.  Now that I am older, I have at least learned to keep my mouth shut when I am thinking something like that. I am learning I need to put myself in their shoes and have empathy for whatever they are going through. Sometimes the mental battle they are fighting is a lot greater than the physical discomfort they are feeling.

What about you? Are you one of those strong-willed motivated types that can pull yourselves up by the bootstraps and carry on in most situations? Do you have little or no patience with those who struggle with things that you think you could soldier on through? Let’s face it, whatever we think we are, we are not. We are all made from the dust of the earth and it wouldn’t take much for each one of us to be in the same position we find someone else in. The best thing we can do in most situations is extend grace and lovingkindness to others, since we don’t truly know everything they are going through. 

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8

“Take a God Look at it!”

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When you were younger, did your parents ever say to you, “Take a good look at it!” Usually you were in trouble and they were trying to show you the right way to do something or you were facing the consequences of your own bad behavior.  Possibly, you might have been with them in the car and there was someone strung out on drugs on the sidewalk. They would then point out what they wanted you to learn from the situation in question. That phrase was usually related to something negative, no doubt about it. 

Might there be another way to look at these negative situations? Take the homeless man on the corner, the drug addict sleeping on the sidewalk, or the people at the soup kitchen trying to get a hot meal. Do we need to “take a good look” at these situations or do we need to “take a God look” at them?

How does God look at people in difficult situations? Does He view them with compassion and have a plan to help them when they cry out to Him? I believe He does. His compassion extends to those who are stuck in the most unfortunate of situations. When we see them, let’s try to see them from God’s perspective. What would He have us do to help others when they are right before our eyes?

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Let’s not “take a good look at them,” let’s “take a God look at them,” and see how we should respond to the needs before us.