Silver Lining

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Silver Linings

A father of five children, who lost his job a year ago, had to survive on part-time work while looking for a steady job. He was sure the financial strain would intensify conflicts at home. But to his surprise, the layoff became a blessing. Every one of his children expressed joy in the extra time they had with him; they enjoyed his smiles and big hugs at the end of their school days, his time to help them with projects, and the riddles he tucked into their lunches. They also began pitching in to help run the house—and to help one another. And when employment was eventually found, he continued to act upon the important lessons he had learned.

How often we encounter trials, only to discover that they turn into blessings. They make us grow in ways we never expected and perhaps open doors to better relationships with those we love. An illness forces a family to make room for Grandma, and their lives are blessed by her stories and wisdom. We can find the silver lining even in minor setbacks: a power outage darkens the television for a night, and a family learns how to talk to each other again.

Sometimes it's just a matter of having a bright outlook. If we decide to make the worst of a mishap and focus on the negative, the negative is what we'll find. But if we look for what we can learn—or for a way we can use an event to help others—we'll always come out ahead.

We all know people whose lives seem filled with adversity; yet they smile through storm and sickness, always looking for something positive in the setback. They don't complain; rather, they count their blessings and think of ways they can benefit from the experience.

Harry Emerson Fosdick said: "Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world—making the most of one's best."(1)

The silver lining is always there if we make an effort to find it.

(1) Lillian Eichler Watson, ed., Light from Many Lamps (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951), 155.