It’s so easy to complain right now. I miss my friends. I want to go shopping. I’d like to visit my family. Waah. Waah. Waah. And then I remember the night my trivial inconveniences slapped me in the face. Read to the end to help put our quarantine in perspective.
I was flying home from Pennsylvania on Good Friday of the Easter weekend, and the airport was packed. As I waited for the plane to arrive at the gate, clouds began to fill the sky. Unfortunately, overbooked airplanes and stormy weather do not a good combination make. Delays and cancelations lit up the departure board like fireflies at dusk in summertime south.
I was scheduled to arrive in Charlotte, N.C. at 7:00 p.m. But then my arrival time was pushed back to 7:40, then to 8:40, then to 9. This was turning out to be not such a “good Friday” after all. The travelers were getting angry, the ticketing agents were getting agitated, and kids were getting antsy. I just wanted to go home.
Finally, after many gate changes and time delays, we boarded the plane headed for Charlotte. I closed my eyes and went to sleep. About an hour later, the pilot made an announcement.
“Hello, this is the captain. Unfortunately, the storm is passing through Charlotte at this time and we will not be able to land. We are going to land in Greensboro, 90 miles away, and wait it out. Feel free to disembark the airplane, but do not leave the boarding area. We will make an announcement when it is time to re-board. Don’t worry, we’ll get you to Charlotte just as quickly as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience. “
We landed in Greensboro and waited…and waited…and waited. About 10:30, there was another announcement. “May I have your attention, please? For those traveling on flight 389 to Charlotte, unfortunately, the flight crew has logged too many hours and they will not be able to continue the flight to Charlotte. We have secured vans to drive you the rest of the way. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
You could just hear the collective moan. We trudged down to baggage claim, retrieved our bags, and separated into groups of nine.
And we waited.
Finally, we piled into the van: eight traveling to visit family, one going home. We quickly learned that the air conditioner was broken, and rather than cool air coming through the vents, heat poured out in every direction. No one could figure out how to shut it off. Temperatures rose, sweat poured, layers came off, the windows fogged up. It was miserable.
After about an hour and a half, I started to relax, thinking we would be in Charlotte at any minute. In the seat in front of me, a twenty-something woman and her mother chatted happily. They were on their way to spend the weekend with daughter number two. Daughter number one, who was apparently tracking our progress on her iphone, turned around in her seat to face me.
“We’re passing Statesville,” she said. “How much further do we have?”
“Statesville!” I cried. “We’re not supposed to be passing Statesville! He’s going the wrong way!”
Our one-and-a-half hour van ride turned into a three-hour trip. I was ready for this not-so-good Friday to be over. And it just about was because it was close to midnight.
Just as I was having a not-so-nice, one-way conversation with God, the mother in front of me drew a smiley face on the window on the steamed-up mirror! A smiley face!
What in the world does she have to be happy about? I mused. I don’t see anything “smiley” about this entire situation!
We finally arrived in Charlotte sometime after midnight. The quick one-and-a half-hour flight had turned into an eight-hour nightmare. Nine dripping-wet, exhausted passengers climbed out of the van and breathed in the fresh night air.
“Bye Krista,” I said to the young iphone toting girl. “You have fun with your sister and mom this weekend.”
“Oh, we will,” she said. “My mom just found out that she has cancer for the second time. It doesn’t look too good. We’re going to spend a weekend together, just the three of us, simply enjoying each other. It might be our last.”
She turned to walk away…never seeing the tears that filled my eyes.
David’s words came to mind…words that he penned when he was having more than one bad day but many,”
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more (Psalm 71:14 NLT). Click & Tweet!
I looked back at the van’s window, which still held the picture of a smiley face drawn by a dying woman’s hand. Suddenly, my night of little inconveniences seemed rather petty.
It was a Good Friday after all. God had reminded me of all the reasons I had to be thankful. Irritating circumstances are a sure thing in this world. Storms will rage. Winds of adversity will blow. It is our perspective during the storm that will determine whether we will grumble and complain or draw a smiley face on the window and thank God for each and every breath we have. There is always a choice.
I slipped into the car with my precious, patient husband, gave him a quick kiss, and drew a smiley face on the window.
When we look at the difficulties, inconveniences, and problems of life as potential assignments from God, our perspective changes. We can decide to focus on what God can do through a difficult circumstance rather than the details of the circumstance itself.
We can’t control our circumstances, but we do have a choice as to how we react to them.
Happy Easter, dear friend. May it be a good Friday for you.
Lord, help me to have a good and godly attitude when life doesn’t go the way I’d hoped. Rather than see the inconveniences as a trial, help me to see them as an opportunity to grow. Help me to draw a smiley face on the adversity of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Sharon that is an amazing writing that you did! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a beautiful and pointed way! Perspective can make or destroy a moment or a day.
Thank you for allowing God to speak through you! I needed to hear these exact words!
Me too. I needed to hear this.
Thank you so much for the attitude change. I needed that!!
Thank you for the wonderful message. It seems like whenever we have problems or inconveniences in life, God always points out someone who is worse off than we are. It makes our problems seem small in comparison.
Thankyou. That was wonderful.
Some day, I will think of this story and make a smiley face to make my heart match my head. We do have so much to be happy about… even in the times that seem so uncertain. What a beautiful picture of how God can give us perspective! Thanks for the smile… I hope someone sees my feeble eyes and upturned mouth and it clears a way for a better day! You should start a campaign… maybe you just did!
I really ejoyed reading your story. Often times we get caught up with the circumstanes that we really need to focus on God. He will get us thru this. Again, thank you.
As always very encouraging
Thank you for your honesty and for being real. I really needed this tonight.
Thanks for sharing that with me Sharon, it truly helped me. That story helps me bring things in perspective
and remember that the Lord is good. Yes I can complain about all the things that are wrong and the virus still
being here but you helped me. My husband is on dialysis now and having some other health challenges but I praise the Lord for his life and that he can still drive himself where he needs to go. I praise the Lord for health, strength and family that my needs are met and the Lord is good and faithful to me. Thanks Sharon I love you
and I pray the Lord will bless you and your family with health and wealth. Thanks again for all you do for the
Body of Christ.
Always uplifted with your posts!!
Thank you for sharing your story. I really needed this today, more than ever.
It certainly puts things into perspective, to be grateful for the time we have with loved ones and to God for is goodness, especially in those hard times.
Thank you for that reminder of how important time is in our lives. We may not always enjoy the now but it is often better than the past. I’ve just finished my last cancer treatment and am blessed to have this time with my family.
Wonderful devotion for me! I needed it badly. Thank you
Even though we are going through something right now we can still choice the right way on how to respond. Give thanks no matter what doing good or the bad. Know God is in control of everything give it over to Him.
Give thanks no matter what doing good or the bad. Know God is in control of everything give it over to Him.
Give thanks anyway Amen.
Just love your writings Sharon❣
Have a very blessed Easter.
So glad for this timely message when anxieties and tensions grow higher. Being away from family in these crises is a very difficult moment for me. But your words has encouraged me to see the good in every situation as a time to grow and be thankful for. God bless you
Just part of my daily routine: disruption with lotsa disquiet! I promise God and myself that I will stop reacting with such combative and negative vehemence when unfair events in my life occur. Many do and others even comment, “boy you have some bad luck!” Somehow I have to take hold of not just self control but the core of how I receive bad treatment! I’m very focused upon the whys of the injustice I perceive. Starting with “why me?” Every one of your bulleted points apply to me! Thanks for your awesome, inspiring words. I will try my best and not give up my quest for a peaceful soul!
Sharon, my husband is dying of small
cell stage four lung cancer. In September 2019 were told 1-3 years. The cancer Is now in brain, both lungs, lymph nodes and probably stomach because of symptoms. We are ceased further testing just make him
I am usually the woman making that smiley face but as my husband declines it has gotten harder.
Thank you sharing this. I needed to hear it.
Thanks a lot. It’s really encouraging.
wow that is a very powerful story
Thank you Sharon! You reminded me to hold on to God for he is in control of the storms we pass through. Amid this time of isolation being thankful is so important.
What a blessed Good Friday. Thank you Sharon for this story of sadness but oh so encouraging. I had tears oh so much tears in my eyes. But enjoyed it so much. We don’t know what others are going through and we have a little inconvenience and we can’t handle it. Thank you , have a blessed Easter
I needed to be spoken to this morning as yesterday I was totally blue & negative. I’m going to draw a smiley face this morning to remind me during this storm … God is still in control & to remind me to continue to give my will over to my Savior.
Thank you Lord for speaking what I need to hear through your servant Sharon. Continue to bless her path Father! In Jesus’ name amen.
WOW! As I sit here missing my grandchilden and my children during this social distancing pandemic, I realize how many blessing we have… We are healthy (for the most part) and God is still in Control of this and ALL aspects of my life. HE loves us and He showed it by sending His precious Son to be the sacrifice for my grouchiness, greed, pride, selfishness. Lord, help me draw smiley faces on everything and be a shining example for Your love and grace.
Wow Thank you for this perfect timed devotion. Love your prayer – Yes, Lord help me to draw a smiley face on the adversity of life that we are currently going through. In you resources It’s Friday Sunday’s Comin’ -page 3 was blank – I would live to have page 3 – thank you The Lord be with you and your family.
What a beautiful and timely devotion. As my husband goes through a 2nd round of fighting cancer this gives me more to stand on. Sooooo many things to be thankful for. Blessings and Wisdom to you sweet Sharon.
Sharon, this is one of your best! I loved it so much I forwarded it to many friends and my children. Thank you!
What an awesome reminder! “… inconveniences/problems of life as potential assignments from God” – – I’ve been thinking this way but need to pray God would make this my “GO TO” thinking all the time!! Thank you for this! I needed it today! Blessings!
Thank you for this devotion, makes me want to paint a huge smiley face on my house!
Dear Sharon, I am always looking forward towards your newsletters. You are a perfect writer and narrator of events. God bless you
“We can decide to focus on what God can do through a difficult circumstance rather than the details of the circumstance itself.”
I love your quote here…thank you and praying you enjoy this Good Friday and Easter with your family.
I and many others are going through the WORST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. THE COVID19 has spread throughout the globe and we ask OUR HOLY LORD TO END THIS CURSE and protect us from its hazardous symptoms. PRAY AND LOOK AFTER THIS YOUR HOLY PLANET O FATHER.
Thank you Sharon, I always look fwd to reading your posts. I have used them many times for an example in my ladies Bible studies . We get a lot of discussion from them and can relate them to God’s Word and our individual lives. You have a great mind and an open mind to the speaking of the Holy Spirit. You have gift that just “keeps on giving”. May God bless and continue to use you. It truly is a spiritual gift and how great to know and use your purpose. Like Esther God has placed you in this time and place to aid His children.
Love to you and your family…stay safe.
Thank you for an awesome and inspiring devotional. I needed it today! Your words convicted and inspired me. Blessings to you on this Holy Week as we prepare for Easter!
God always uses you Sharon to encourage my heart and He did again today. I am going to share this with others in my church family. God bless you dear sister and your family. Happy Resurrection Day to you!!!
Thank you so much for those words Sharon!
I especially needed them for a situation that came up this past weekend.
I have written down, the prayer you wrote, and will pray it throughout the week when I want to feel sorry for myself.
I love following your posts!
God bless you in HIS work!!
Thank you for sharing this inspiring story! I am convicted and convinced!
I can’t help but think how God used that Mom in that moment to deliver His message of Hope to so many
through a simple smile
on a foggy window
to a whining world
by a departing disciple!
Oh what a Savior!
Hallelujah! He is Alive!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank YOU!. I, like you miss my friends, my work, my social life! UGH.
But you are so right, we can choose to have a attitude like Christ our Lord, my goodness it’s Easter week,
and I’m sad and complaining. My chose today will be to read Psalm 71 over and over and over until I know God’s truth
in my heart and soul. I will remember the smiley faces my daughter drew when she was a littel girl and be thankful for her!
I will be thankful that my husband is home to give me a hug when I need it. I will be THANKFUL that it is Easter week
and on Easter Sunday we can celebrate that our RISEN LORD has risen and we are FREE by his GRACE and MERCY.
Thank you for your encouragement.
My dear sister in Christ. Your writing is always a blessing to me. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used by our Savior to encourage others. You will never know how much Jesus has impacted my life through you. He always seems to speak through you every time that I need a reminder of that particular subject!! I love you and may God continue to bless and keep you and your family.
Thank you for that eye-opening perspective, Sharon. There are tears filling my eyes now.
There’s always something to give thanks for. May be respond with Godly confidence realizing that God will fight our battles, if we faint not!
It also just came to me, that God is always working behind the scenes. He realized that He didn’t want you to be in the sky and he changed the direction of your destination. Let us walk by faith and not by sight.
Have a SMILEY Day!
I’m not sure I can add much more to these comments than what has already been written. But I too want to say thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. This story brought tears to my eyes and was a great reminder of the choices I have to make every day! Bless you!