As a small group shared an hour in a craft class, Negative Nellie swelled up with what she considered her important role: Bearer of Bad News. She watched the crowd’s reaction to her steady newsfeed. When class members’ shoulders slumped and high anxiety rose, Nellie escalated her talk with a focus on the D’s: death, disease, distemper, disorganization, the disadvantaged, deflated water wings, decreased values, defaulted loans, as well as dingy dishes.
Once the class slipped lower into the chairs, Nellie rose to leave like a drama queen. She called out with a smirk, “When the factory closes at the end of this month, our houses will depreciate and become worthless! We’ll lose them!”
Other class members left mumbling, contemplating slitting their wrists, taking Prozac, or going on a chocolate binge—whichever took the least amount of effort. I opted to put on my “Life is Good” smiley-face socks and head to the gym. “If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things,” I recalled from Philippians 4:8.
Faith in God opposes Negative Nellie’s thinking. “God don’t allow no whining,” I reminded myself. Just a few days later, I remembered that when I read a bankruptcy notice from my book publisher—less than a year after my first book was released.
I talked to God as He lit the sky with his sizzling lightning. Then I saw God’s smile studded with raindrops. He was giving the earth what it needed. He would give me what I needed, too. Not just basic needs, but more words, too. For I know He can and with his help, I can, and whatever your needs, He will provide, too.
After Jesus talks about our concerns with our basic essentials and needs, He advises “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well….Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. [Matt. 6: 33 NIV]. Or as Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” [Phil. 4:6 NIV] .
There is no room for Negative Nellie in a faith-filled heart. Count on God. He’ll give you what you need each day.
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, www.button-to-god.com. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]