It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

21 July 2011

EXPERIENCES affect Identity – pt.4

12:01 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
“It’s not our experiences that make or break us.
It’s our interpretation of and explanation for those experiences that ultimately determines who we become. Your explanations are more important than your experiences.”
–Mark Batterson

[Part One]; [Part Two]; [Part Three]

**I've talked with several friends about sharing their personal, negative experiences with my blog subscribers.  They have agreed.  Along with my story, email subscribers, will receive real life stories of friends who have trusted God to bring triumph from tragic experiences.  Their stories are powerful and inspiring.  They are sharing with the hope to inspire hope for an identity that may be lost in negative experiences.  I am grateful they are willing to share.  I will send them, one by one, as an email to my subscriber list after the seventh post.  If you are interested in receiving their stories, then subscribe to receive email updates.**

I’ve talked with people who have communicated regret for doing the right things, because things didn’t go as they planned.  Here’s what it sounds like, “I don’t understand.  I’ve been reading my Bible more, I’ve been praying more than I ever have, and I did everything that I was told to do, but…
·         She still left me.
·         I still got fired.
·         I still failed my test
·         God still didn’t heal him

You may not see it now, but your identity can be shaped in a positive way by each and every experience, even the negative ones.    David didn’t allow the King’s response to discourage him.  David continued, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth.  And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34-37)

I don’t know what your response would be (pre-automatic weapons), but if I were taking care of sheep and a lion or bear attacked one of my sheep, I might not stick around for a battle.  I might run, crying, like a scared little girl in a haunted house at Halloween.  I don’t feel I would have “went after” the bear or lion without a weapon that I could fire from a safe distance, let alone take a sheep out of the jaws of a lion or bear!  In those days, David either would have had a staff, a spear, or a sling-shot, and of course, his bare-hands.  That means in a battle with a lion or a bear, David might have felt the heat of that animal’s breath!  He would be that close!  How dangerous is that job! 

I wonder if David questioned taking care of sheep when he experienced those encounters.  I wonder if after the lion attack he thought, “This is insane!  I can’t do this job anymore!”  Then, a few months later, a bear attack, “No way!  I don’t know how much more I can put up with this!”  There is no way David would have known, how useful those hardships could become until the moment he stood before King Saul.  Hardships now can prepare you for tough times in your future – use them as a resource for strength, not a source for fear.