A college student decided one summer that he would earn money for his tuition by selling Bibles door-to-door. He began at the home of the school president. The president’s wife came to the door and explained politely that her family didn’t need any more books. As the student walked away, she saw him limping. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she exclaimed. “I didn’t know you were disabled!”
When the student turned around, she realized she had offended him. So she quickly added, “I didn’t mean anything except admiration. But doesn’t your disability color your life?” To which the student responded, “Yes, it does. But thank God, I can choose the color.”
When Paul and Silas were imprisoned at Philippi and their backs were raw from beatings, they sang hymns (Acts 16:23-25). They chose the bright color of praise instead of the dark colors of depression, bitterness, and despair.
No matter what affliction or crisis we may face, we too can decide how we will respond. With the enablement of the Holy Spirit, we can refuse to paint our lives in the dull gray of grumbling and complaining. Instead, our chosen color can be the azure blue of contentment because God’s help is always available.
He gives me joy in place of sorrow;
He gives me love that casts out fear;
He gives me sunshine for my shadow,
And "beauty for ashes" here. —Crabbe
God chooses what we go through; we choose how we go through it.