Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

Sometimes, I Need to Play Pollyanna


Sometimes I need to play Pollyanna and to find the good in every situation. It’s not a matter of simple desire, it’s a matter of survival. As a deep feeler, when an abundance of negativity surrounds my days and weeks, I just need to play the glad game. If you haven’t seen the movie or heard the story, click the video above for a clip about Pollyanna’s game. It was something her father taught her before he passed away, and it helped her survive the tragedy of his loss. It wasn’t well-accepted by her bitter aunt and the employees who inevitably picked up on the bitterness that riches could never fix.

Since I became a follower of Yeshua, my glad game is a little different from Pollyanna’s. I still try to find something to be glad about in situations that would otherwise make me sad, but I try to find that reason in Scripture or in a promise from God. Maybe I’ll remind myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Or, maybe I’ll just think about how grateful I am to know that Yeshua will never leave or forsake me, so whatever I go through, I will never be alone.

I think King David played the glad game too because he said things like…

  • I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:2 NKJV)
  • I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble. (Psalm 31:7a NKJV)
  • Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11 NKJV)
  • Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. (Psalm 51:8 NKJV)
  • The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory. (Psalm 64:10 NKJV)
  • But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly. (Psalm 68:3 NKJV)
  • Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! (Psalm 90:14 NKJV)
  • Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness. (Psalm 96:11 NKJV)
  • This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)
  • The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad. (Psalm 126:3 NKJV)

Maybe believers should just call it The King David Game when we look for reasons to praise God because it sure looks like he had a handle on the idea of being glad in God no matter what. He even wanted his broken bones to rejoice.

The hardest part of playing Pollyanna is when we face tougher and tougher circumstances that threaten to make it impossible to find something good. My personal version of the game is in my challenge at my website, For One Soul. But, even having this message, it’s not always easy. There have been times in my life that were so hard, even my husband said, “And don’t tell me it might be for one soul because I don’t want to hear that now.” King David talks about feeling like the heavens were brassed over and about watering his couch with tears. There are days when all the encouragement in the world doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

A problem that can arise while playing Pollyanna is when it becomes difficult to accept negative truths. We may try to believe the best about someone when they have clearly crossed a line into darkness or deceit. Or, we may tell people that something is okay when it’s not just because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Me, I only want to give five-star (or whatever is the best) reviews on things because that’s what I hope to get, but that’s not reality. Only God is good enough to always get a top rating every time. But, if I give top ratings to everyone, then people may even have a hard time believing me when I uplift God as best of all.

So, let’s go ahead and play Pollyanna when we need to balance the darkness and pain around us. Find a reason to play the glad game and to rejoice in God, maybe even by looking for where God will make things work for one soul. But, let’s also keep it honest. It’s a lie to say we are whole when we are broken, but it’s the truth to say we are whole in God because we know He is the Potter who will repair us. It’s the truth to say life is hard, but God is good. And when it gets really tough, we can remind ourselves that what we go through here are light and temporary afflictions. Paul even tells us in Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

With that promise, I think all of us can get away with playing Pollyanna’s glad game a little bit more often. HalleluYah!

October 23, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Devotion, Nonfiction | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From a Promise to a Messiah


With all the shorter readings earlier in the week, today’s reading from Genesis 19:21 through Genesis 21:4 was a bit longer. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on in the story until I got to verse 37 of the first chapter in the reading. But let me start with the background.

The angels have granted that Lot would not have to run to the hills where he was afraid to go and have allowed him to go to a small city called Zoar. But, after Lot got there with his daughters (minus his wife because she turned back toward the destruction and became a pillar of salt), he became afraid that somehow people might know that he had favor to escape God’s judgment and would try to kill him. He ran for the hills he tried to avoid.

While he was hiding there, his daughters decided that, since all their brothers were now incinerated, it was their job to carry on the family name. They got their father completely drunk, and both of them went to him to become pregnant without him knowing about it. This has never been my favorite story. I don’t like that kind of drunkenness, and I think it’s pretty gross for the daughters to even make that kind of decision. But then I learned something particularly interesting in verse 37. It says, “The older bore a son, and named him Moab [of a father]; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.”

So, why does it matter that the oldest daughter is the mother of the Moabites? Well, do you remember the sweet story of Ruth and Naomi? Ruth was a Moabitess. She had married one of Naomi’s sons and after becoming widowed, she chose to stay with her mother-in-law. This is where we get that oft-repeated “where you go, I will go” statement made between friends. But Ruth also told Naomi, “Your God will be my God.” And this is where it gets good.

In Matthew 1:5, in the New Testament account of the genealogy of Jesus, you’ll find Ruth in the lineage of our Messiah, Jesus. So, we start with Abraham whose belief is counted to him for such righteousness that God even has mercy on a nephew who lived in the midst of a vile city. Then, after Lot runs and his daughters engage in incest with him, a child from that unholy union produces a lineage that includes a daughter who goes from curse to blessing and finds herself carrying the grandfather of King David. It is a beautiful and amazing story of mercy and redemption, and it encourages me that even from destruction, fear, and debased situations, God can bring His Perfect Light out from the midst of darkness. Wow!

October 22, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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