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Look for the Potential

Diane Houghtaling - Columnist
Posted 3/4/21

I love it when the Lord gives me little life lessons while doing ordinary things. While cleaning out a closet I pulled out a large box overflowing with years of photos, and decided it was time to …

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Look for the Potential

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I love it when the Lord gives me little life lessons while doing ordinary things. While cleaning out a closet I pulled out a large box overflowing with years of photos, and decided it was time to organize them. It's turned into quite a project.

I made the decision that I have no need of many of the hundreds of pictures, nor will those who inherit this mess. I began by throwing out photos that were meaningless, blurry, poor quality and had heads chopped off.

I was separating pictures into family groups so it would be easier to pass on, but there were also many scenic photos from trips and other pics that no one would probably want. I started throwing out doubles and just wasn't sure what I would do with the rest of them as I haven't done any scrapbooking in years. But on a recent night that I had trouble sleeping, the Lord gave me an idea and showed me the potential of those photos.

I enjoy making collages and working with paper in various forms. Even though I don't need numerous scrapbook pages filled with mountain, desert, forest or waterfall scenes, God gave me ideas of how I could use those photos in other ways and purposes beyond just memories of a trip. The ideas began to flood my mind, and this switch in perspective ignited a whole new potential and excitement.

So many times we see things in our lives as mundane drudgery, and we get stuck in our ruts of sameness. We go through the motions of our routines, and life is boring and without purpose. We give up hope that anything will ever change and accept the drudgery without looking forward to anything. This is a hopeless existence, not living at all.

But we don't have to stay in this rut. We can ask God for His perspective in our circumstances and where we find ourselves in life. He may show us that it's time to let go of some things that are meaningless and suck the joy out of living. But He may also show us the potential in other things, circumstances, relationships, etc., in our lives that we hadn't seen.

As we look at these things through new eyes, in a new light, God can show us the potential that's there to restore excitement, give purpose, renew hope and bring healing. Perhaps that marriage or relationship isn't dead at all, but just stuck in a rut of sameness. As we ask God to help us to see others through His eyes and love them with His love, the potential for new life and restoration will emerge.

Maybe it's time to move on from a dead-end job that leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled. Or perhaps God will show us a new approach to bring meaning and fulfillment into our work. The potential will become clear as we see it through God's perspective and the plans He has for us in that place. One little shift or new idea can make a big difference.

No matter how bad our circumstances may look, if we look at them through God's perspective, we can find some purpose, hope or potential. For God is in the habit of working out all things in our lives for good in some way, whether we see it now or if it's for a future purpose.

Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 482-5300.

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