How Are You Doing?
How many times a day are you asked this question? How do you respond? I have some friends I can count on to respond with a sigh. I know some people who say, “I’m making it.” And some who say, “I’m doing.” I have one friend who always says, with a smile, “I’m blessed and highly favored!” Another friend, a cancer survivor, says, “It’s always a good day on this side of the grass.” The first time I heard that, it took me a moment to understand. I have another friend whose response is different every time I ask. Most recently he said, “If I were any better you’d have to throw a bucket of water at me!”
Since this is my blog, I can be honest, right? Well, here are a few of my confessions. One, I am not always as positive as the title of this blog indicates. Two, in the past 2-3 weeks, I have Googled “scriptures about frustration” more than once.
I don't have a set response to, “How are you doing?” I say, “Okay.” Sometimes I nod; sometimes I shake my head; sometimes I sigh; and admittedly, sometimes my response is, “Next question, please!” That is so ungodly! God is good, right? All the time, right? Well, why can’t we reflect that, immediately, when we are greeted?
What does the Bible say about frustration?
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”
Yes, life happens. Yes, our to-do list keeps growing. Yes, there are only 24-hours in each day and we must sleep for about 7 of those. Frustration is feeling we have when it seems our plans are not progressing; the feeling we get when things are being added to our to-do list faster than they are being removed. When we feel our frustrations mounting, we should stop and pray.
1) Ask God if our plans are His plans. Any plans that are ours, but not His, will take extra time and energy to execute. Since it’s extra time and energy that we lack, it’s important to ensure that His plans are what we are working to execute.
2) Ask God for the strength to continue even through trials. Often, God gives us trials to strengthen us and to test our faith. Praying through our trials can give us tools we will need for similar trials to come, or in advising someone we will soon meet.
3) Ask God to show you a better way. As humans our view is limited, but God’s is not. He is the Creator and knows all things. Just because we have a degree does not mean we know everything. We must ask God to show us how to best complete our work for Him.
One last thing piece of advice that can improve your response to, “How are you doing?” is this. Rest. Sleep is imperative. Sleep renews our body and our mind so that we can effectively use our God-given strength and talent. I’ve mentioned my trials of 2012 several times in this blog. One thing that really made a difference was that I planned for naps. I planned a 2-hour nap each Wednesday, and a 1-hour nap each Saturday. It made a huge difference in how I was able to relate to my children and in how I was able to think clearly to get my work done—it was key to my survival. Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
AMEN! I hope this blog is a blessing to your life!
Copyright 2018 Kimberly Griffith Massey
Marcella Michele Alston
3/11/2018 09:00:52 am
Thank you. Sometimes I forget that I am not alone while stuck in my mess. This morning has been hard. My response to the question “How are you today” has been “Loving my life”. A term Ms Libby said to her dance students. But it is not always easy to love your life. But the relationship I have with my Father has allowed me to embrace that saying. God is my Potter. He is slowly molding and shaping me into what He wants me to be. As he molds me, I lose some of the excess mess, garbage, that attaches itself to my life. Every morning, He allows me to wake up. He gives me a new life with each day. He begins the molding process all over again because He knows that sometimes I will pick up the messy pieces that He worked so hard to get rid of. So each day I have to “love my life”. Not for me, but for the Potter and all that He has done for me. I know I am rambling but I need a good listener right now. I also have a lot going on. I love your blog, Kim. The Potter just put a little bit of you in my clay. I am grateful, blessed and loving my life
3/11/2018 11:49:47 am
Thank you for your comment. I understand. I get it! Same here. I have a tendency to answer that question based on the things happening at the moment, too—ignoring the fact that God is good and life is precious! After stopping to reflect as I wrote this post, my new response will be, “Count it all joy!”
3/11/2018 12:56:33 pm
What great insight! As I was reading it and Michele's reaction to it I was reminded of what Elijah Nelson always said whenever we asked him the question, "How are you doing today?" He always said "It's better than it could have been!" We would always laugh about it, but as I think on it, my life, your life, no matter what the struggles, is always better than it could have been, because we belong to Jesus Christ. Our lives would be so much different without Him, because He is our hope. He is our joy, He is our comfort and He is our peace, our guide, our provider. So when we put him first, no matter what happens in life, we know he's got it as our omnipotent, omniscient Father! Keep on writing and sharing, God is good and I thank Him for you each day!
3/11/2018 08:15:47 pm
3/14/2018 07:38:57 pm
Kim, thank you for inviting me to visit your blog. I've enjoyed reading about your books and your life. What a beautiful family you have. Your insights are very helpful and encouraging and I look forward to continuing reading. Hey, and thanks for helping us out in our class Monday night! God bless you.
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If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.