“I’m Positive” OR “I Believe”
I’ll take the latter
By Valerie McIntyre
So many of us today are encouraged to be positive. ‘Stay positive.’ ‘Put on that positive attitude!’ I come from the land of positive: America. We are taught that if you stay positive, and positively move forward you can do anything. It’s a really nice thought, but unfortunately, it’s not true. Everyone, just by staying positive and working hard, even working REALLY hard, can’t always, if ever, get what they want. Life doesn’t work that way, sadly.
This morning on my walk along the River Thames in London, I started thinking about BELIEVING. Sometimes I have to ask myself, Valerie do you believe? Do you believe in God? Do you believe He’s good? Do you believe He loves you? Do you believe, Valerie? Being positive generally has a carrot attached. We can see something good in front of us—we are going to stay positive and go for it. Believing also provides a carrot, if we believe perhaps this “thing” will come to pass. But believing has something going for it that staying positive doesn’t have: believing can also be a bridge that can deliver us from the land of unbelief. See, the thing about believing is that if you can believe in spite of your circumstance, in spite of what you can SEE, in spite of general logic, your belief has the power to set you free. Staying positive in the face of disaster and major disappointment is a much harder task. Believing asks us to suspend disbelief. Basically, it asks us to take a step of faith. And what can we expect if we do? Peace. Maybe not at first, maybe not all the time, but believing in the One who made us, the One who has told us He loves us, the One whose ongoing desire is to draw us near, will give us peace – no matter what is going on in our world.
The cool thing about having been single until I was 47, putting myself through all kinds of trouble, missing out on having children and having lived with very little for a good portion of my life is that when someone says to me “you don’t understand” I can sigh and say, ah but I do. What got me through? Dogged belief. What’s getting me through? Dogged belief. Remember the woman in the crowd who had spent all her life’s savings on trying to find healing. She was at the end of herself. Her circumstances told her there was no help for her, that her life was dwindling away. Yes, she believed, not perfectly, and perhaps desperately, but she believed, and her belief saved her and set her free. Positive thinking couldn’t have delivered her. Belief in Jesus did.