I recently read of a story where a son wrote home to his parents after his first Semester of College and told them he was dropping out, getting married, had a child on the way, and joining a gang. Once he got to the end of the letter, he said he was joking as none of that was true, but he did have bad grades and didn’t want his parents to overreact!
Although that is a funny story, how many of us have a tendency to overreact? In Mark Chapter 3 we read about a man with a shriveled hand, and Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath, and the Scriptures tell us that the Pharisees went out and began to plot how they might kill Jesus. Talk about overreacting in a major way!
The word “overreact” means to respond more emotionally or forcibly than is justified. The Razorbacks had a trick play they tried the other day where they had the receiver try to throw the ball down field to the quarterback, but the throw came up short. After the play, the receiver went to the sideline and hit several things on the sideline, and then later we see him holding his hand like he hurt it. I believe the reaction to the missed opportunity was much worse than the missed play, because the game wasn’t over and he is a receiver that needs his hands to be in good condition.
I believe that there are 3 things we can do to keep us from overreacting.
First of all, we have to realize there is a bigger picture. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. When Joseph was in the pit and then in the prison, he probably didn’t see the big picture that one day he would be in the palace. God is always up to something, and we just have to realize and adjust when he shows up on the scene. One story is told where a gentleman was fishing at a campsite for several days and not catching anything, but the last day he was there, “something” told him to move 300 yards to the left and when he moved, he saw a baby lying face down in the water. He rescued the baby, and the baby is doing well today. As you can see, God is always moving if we will just watch and listen for him.
Next, we have to handle with prayer. Instead of overreact we need to give it to the one that can act. Prayer should always be the first option and not our last resort. Psalms 55:17 says evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress and he hears my voice. That sounds like we should be praying continually about everything as we go about our day. We own a Nissan Rogue and when you push the button it unlocks the car so that you can get in the car, but you can’t go anywhere until you push another button that allows the key to pop up and then you can start the car. I believe some of us are saved and going to Heaven, but we are not pushing that extra button of prayer that will propel us forward. I encourage you to start praying about everything and pray without ceasing and watch what God will do!
Finally, we have to remain thankful. When life happens, in order to not overreact we have to always remain thankful. One of my favorite quotes asks a question that we can all ponder. What if we only woke up today with the things we thanked God for yesterday? Wow what a thought, and if someone asks you if you are a glass half-full or half- empty person, you just tell them you are just glad you have a glass. (Can I get an Amen?) A few weeks ago we all witnessed the awesome sight of the colorful leaves on the trees and it was truly amazing. A few weeks later and we see all those leaves on the ground blowing around and having to be raked. I don’t want to be the guy that complains about all the leaves on the ground, and forget about how awesome all those leaves looked a few weeks ago. I am determined to remain thankful no matter the situation or circumstance.
In closing, one of my favorite stories is in Luke 17 where Jesus healed 10 lepers and only 1 came back to thank him. I don’t want to be one of the nine to forget to thank the Lord for what He’s done in my life! I encourage you to realize there is a bigger picture, handle with prayer, and remain thankful. God bless you and if you want to see the full message please visit our Botkinburg Foursquare Facebook page.
Rocky Thomas is Senior Pastor, Botkinburg Foursquare Church