In many ways, because of modern conveniences, life today is easier than it has ever been. Machines perform tasks that were drudgery for earlier generations, and distances have been cut to a minimum through more effective means of communication and various types of modern transportation. But, in other ways, modern living may seem more complicated and difficult.
In the fast-paced tempo of modern society, we hear a great deal about “stress”, which describes the person’s inability to cope with changes or adapt to circumstances. Tension seems to run rampant, and many books are written and lectures are given on methods of learning to relax.
But the world has always presented certain challenges, or demands and claims upon our time and energy. And it will continue to present tests as we seek to cope with everyday living. The important thing is not to concentrate on the tensions of the times in which we live or the individual trials that may come into our lives. It is much more effective to concentrate our attention and abilities on building our ability to meet and handle situations as they arise.
In a sense, life itself is a challenge, but it is also a great and glorious experience for the one who learns to accept the dare and to live victoriously.
Will you accept the dare life offers? Are you willing to stop blaming the times, conditions and other people and start living constructively right where you are, meeting and handling each day’s challenges, living through even the most difficult conditions?
Life, for you, will never become easier or more harmonious, until you learn to handle the problems that arise in daily living, right where you are. And love will help you do it. Love will enable you to meet even the most formidable situation and be triumphant in the end. Love is the answer to every challenge that can come to you in the course of daily living. It can help you to handle any situation, from a matter of leaky plumbing to the loss of a loved one.
Love Doesn’t Ask Why
When some situation arises in your life which seems to present a problem or points to a dead end in some cherished undertaking, do you ever ask, “Why? Why did this happen to me?”
This is the human way, and most people do respond to a challenge in this manner, by asking with their whole being why they have to face this particular problem, what they have done to deserve such a situation.
Love doesn’t ask why. And there is a good reason for this. In love there is an understanding that is far above and beyond anything the intellect can even begin to comprehend. It knows without knowing the why and the wherefore. It knows with a strength of faith that is enough to fill your whole being and completely dissolve the questioning that comes from the human thinking.
It knows that the plan for your life is good. It knows that the outcome of any situation can be good for you, when you are willing to trust the miracle power and work from love.
God created the universe in love. He must have loved very much, because He created such a beautiful world and filled it with so many opportunities for the one who is willing to live fully, productively and richly. He created you, His child, in love, and He placed you in a universe governed by universal laws, so that when you learn to live by His laws, you can depend on getting His good results. You can learn the laws and assume the dominion God gave you in the beginning. And the greatest of these laws is the law of love and all of its many applications.
To meet the challenges that arise in daily living, work from this law of love, the law of replacement:
Nothing is ever lost in love. If one thing appears to be lost, love will lead you to something better.
From Slavery to Strength
In order to receive the benefits promised in the law of replacement, you must meet the conditions that love places on you.
First, you have to stop asking why a certain thing happened in your life. Declare, as a man named Joseph did, “God meant it for good.” (Gen. 50:20 ASV).
At the time he said these words, Joseph had experienced many logical causes for asking, “Why did this happen to me?” But he hadn’t wasted his time in complaining. He hadn’t spent his mental energies on trying to figure out why difficulties came into his life.
He had learned his lesson of love early, and he knew that, regardless of what happened in his life, good could be brought forth from it.
When he was quite young, his brothers betrayed him and sold him into slavery. He made the most of this challenge to rise to a position of authority in his master’s house, though still a slave. Then he was falsely accused by the master’s wife and cast into prison. Even in prison he continued to believe that there was a plan of good for his life, and he was ready when the opportunity came. In time he rose to a position second only to the Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. But it wasn’t the position that impressed him at the time that he declared, “God meant it for good.”
Because of his position and of all the many challenges he had overcome, he had an opportunity to serve, to help others when a very particular kind of help was desperately needed. Love had shown the way. When he had overcome not one but many challenges along the way, he had all of the rewards a person can ask, position, power, riches, but more important, the loving understanding to use these things wisely, and the gratifying fulfillment of doing tremendous service to the people of his day, even to the brothers who had betrayed him. This is love in action. This is what love can do for you, when you work with the principle of replacement, and do it in love.
Joseph prepared himself to excercise a position of authority with love. He did it by meeting each challenge as it arose with the understanding that God meant it for good. He didn’t ask why. He just worked according to the best of his ability in each situation in which he found himself and grew into the next opportunity to serve.
One thing leads to another when you work with the law of replacement, and each one, in the long run, is better than the last.
If you were catapulted today into a positon of tremendous wealth and authority, such as Joseph occupied, would you have the strength and the love to handle it wisely? Joseph grew into something better, and he grew through every challenge that came, by knowing it had to bring him good.
If you would apply the law of replacement in your life, believe, as Joseph did, that each difficulty that comes into your experience, every disappointment in other people, every seeming injustice carries within it the seed of something better.
Meet it with love. Love the opportunity to grow. Dismiss the little human voice inside of you that asks, “Why? Why did this happen to me?” Dismiss it with the strong, sure statement, “God meant it for good.” And if the human voice counters with a question like this, “How can anything good come from this?”, just keep on declaring, “God meant it for good,” and you’ll find out. The law of replacement works, but you have to work with it in absolute faith that something better can come out of every experience in your life. It is not your business to ask why or how. It is your business to work in love to discover the seed of good that each experience in living carries within it.
God Sent a Rainbow
It’s easy, when challenges arise, to make excuses, to blame others and to decide it simply isn’t worthwhile to try again. But love doesn’t make excuses. Love doesn’t look around for someone to blame. It never gives up. Love seeks out, uncovers and fulfills the good in every situation.
Of course, one of the very best ways to find the answer promised by the law of replacement is to pray about it.
I know a family who found the answer to a very urgent challenge. They found it in a rainbow.
In a way which to all human reasoning was completely unjust, they became involved in a lawsuit involving their home. It seemed very likely that they would lose the property, and they had every human right to ask why and to look around for someone to blame.
Instead, they decided to pray, and they prayed together. This experience of praying together gave them a tremendous feeling of oneness with God and with each other. Perhaps they had never felt such a sharing of love before. They prayed in love, knowing that only good could come. They placed the whole situation in God’s hands.
The morning of the day the lawsuit was to come up, the daughter left for work as usual and walked to the bus stop in the rain. As she waited for the bus, the rain cleared, and a rainbow appeared. One tip of the rainbow reached down to touch her home, which she could see clearly from where she was standing. As she watched, the rainbow grew wider and wider, until it seemed to cover the whole house.
Suddenly she had a deep-down conviction, almost as though a voice had said to her, “God sent the rainbow. Everything is going to be all right.” When she reached the office, she called her mother and told her everything was going to be all right.
That afternoon the case came up, and the ruling was in their favor. They kept their home.
God always sends a rainbow, after every rain that daily living can bring you, but you have to be looking in order to see it. You will be looking when you hold fast to the thought, “God meant it for good.” You will be even more receptive if you are praying about the situation, trusting God to bring forth a blessing, even when you can’t see why it happened or how He can work it out for good.
The law of replacement works, when you work with it!
“Why Did I Do It?”
You can see how the law of replacement works when something comes to challenge you, something which seemingly is no fault of your own. The law of replacement also works to help you repair the results of mistakes you yourself have made in the past.
Perhaps the most difficult challenges you ever have to face are those which you know are the result of some past error in judgment or actual wrong that you have done to yourself or another. These challenges can be made even more difficult by the fact that you feel a personal responsibility for bringing difficulties on yourself and on others. You may also be burdened by a sense of guilt.
What can you do in a case like this? Can you just blithely overlook the wrong you have done and expect something good to come to you, anyway?
Consider again the law of replacement:
Nothing is ever lost in love. If one thing appears to be lost, love will lead you to something better.
Most errors in judgment and wrongdoing are the result of a lack of understanding of the laws and the working of love. If an absence of the understanding of love caused you to make mistakes in the first place, then the opposite, an understanding of the laws of love, will enable you to right the wrong and to find the path that will lead you to something better. It’s as simple as that.
If the errors have been very great and have been rooted deeply in your habits of thinking and reacting to life, it may take some time and some real effort to overcome the challenges you have brought on yourself. But it can be done.
Here the temptation may be to ask, “Why? Why did I ever do such a thing?” If you can easily see why you made the mistake in the first place, you may be able to see what you must do to correct your thinking and to apply a little more love in your life. But if asking the question does not lead to any useful answer, then stop asking why and substitute a question like this, “What can I do about it?”
Many times there is something you can do, something that, deep down inside, you really would like to do. This is the voice of love inside your own soul speaking to you, urging you on to the step that will change the direction of your life.
If you can see what you need to do to make amends or to correct an error, then do it. Do it in love. It may be something as simple as apologizing to someone. It may be as difficult as returning money you stole. But whatever the voice of love tells you to do, do it. As completely as possible, right any wrong you may have done, and get ready for something better. Let love guide you in righting the wrong, and then let love help you to establish your life on a firmer, finer basis in the future.
If you can’t correct the wrong in some active way, correct the wrong thinking or feeling that inspired the action in the first place.
Perhaps you did something unkind to a person who is no longer living, and you are burdened by a sense of guilt that makes it difficult for you to be happy and productive where you are now.
Can you correct the wrong? Of course you can. Send a loving thought to the one who has passed beyond your physical world and then get busy on yourself, correcting the thoughts and feelings in you that prompted you to say or do the wrong thing in the first place. When you are firmly established in love and understanding, you will do the right thing. You will work from kindness. You will not make the same mistake again. You will be ready for the law of replacement to establish your life on a firmer, happier basis. You are ready to let love lead you to that something better that awaits you.
As long as you are involved mentally with regrets about the past, you are failing to fulfill your opportunities in the present. But sometimes it takes a definite decision on your part and a whole new outlook to accept the freedom to live fully today.
You are designed for success. You are designed for happy, joyous living. It is your job to resolve past mistakes and carry-overs of regret and guilt and to start fresh, in love, right where you are now. Do what you can to make amends, then get busy on the important job of living today. Do it with love in your heart and expectation of something better to come. Know that love will lead you to it.
The TV That Fixed Itself
What about the everyday challenges that come? The little things that are not really crucial in the overall picture of life and living? At the time, they can seem very important, and they, too, can be handled in love.
Do you ever run into challenges with the plumbing, the automobile, the television set? Do you ever start to have some project done, only to find that it is now priced out of your budget?
Love will help, when you let it. Work from love, not from frustration, and you’ll be surprised at how easily things fall into place and how quickly the challenge can be handled.
If you first see the challenge with a feeling of frustration and aggravation, you must go back and erase these feelings before you are ready to use the power of love to handle the situation. So do it.
Declare to yourself something like this,
I refuse to be disturbed. Love will find a way.
Say it gently, seeking to wipe out all tension, anger and concern. Say it until you have freed yourself from a sense of inner disturbance, and you are ready to let love take over.
When you are calm and relaxed, approach the whole situation from the principle of accomplishment, which is this:
Love transforms the impossible into the possible.
You can only work with this law when you are willing to forget the impossibility of the whole situation and let love show you how it can be done, how the project can be handled through love. This is one way it works.
One time our television set developed problems. Every time it was turned on, the picture immediately became distorted. No matter how we turned knobs and made adjustments, it just wouldn’t straighten out.
Knowing something about the laws of love and prayer and blessing, I decided to use them on the TV.
Every time we turned the set on, I quietly loved and blessed it, and knew it was engineered to work perfectly and that it would make its own right adjustment. It worked. Every time the distortion disappeared, and the set functioned as it should.
One time I was away from home, and visitors tried to use the set. They turned every knob, every adjustment, everything they could twist, turn, push in and pull out, but they couldn’t make the picture clear up.
They had heard the story of the way I loved and blessed the TV each time and it worked perfectly. After they had tried everything but love, the man declared, “Well, she’ll never make the set work this time.”
But it did. The next time I turned it on, I loved and blessed it and knew it had the ability to adjust itself, and it did. This went on for several months, until I decided it would be easier to have it repaired than to go through the process of loving it into adjustment each time. So I took it to a repairman who replaced tubes and did whatever else was required to make it operate on its own.
We live in a materialistic society, and the first thought in most people’s minds is usually the materialistic, “What can I do about it? Who can fix it for me?” We are just beginning to discover that there are powers of the mind, potentialities such as love power, that are above and beyond anything that can be explained on a strictly materialistic basis.
Only the future will reveal to us some of the many wonderful things that love can do. But there is one basic requirement for the working of this law. Before love can transform the impossible into the possible, it has to stop believing that the thing to be done is impossible and believe it is possible.
You can’t hold to the thought that something can’t be done and do it. Love will help you, first, to believe that it is possible, and then it will show you the best way to go about it.
Even if you take your TV to a repairman, love will help you choose the right one. Remember this the next time a challenge arises. Love will even lead you to the person who can do it, if you can’t. And who is to say that takes anything away from the working of the law?
“If Dottie Could Do It—”
A genuine love for accomplishment, for the rich feeling that comes when you have finished a difficult job, will also enable you to do the thing that appeared to be impossible.
It will not only give you the signal to go ahead. It will also provide the strength and stamina that are required to finish the job, even when the going gets tough. It will also make you receptive to the ideas that will show you how it can be done in the quickest, easiest, most effective way. And it will help you to implement those ideas.
This will work in large aspirations and also in small tasks that are a part of everyday living.
Sometimes people request God’s help for big projects only, thinking the little tasks are not worth it. But love is just as applicable to completing small tasks with ease and on time. And the more practice you have in using love to help you do the small thing, the more success you will have in calling it forth for the big projects. Love always grows with use, because the more you use it, the more you believe in it, and the more you believe in it, the stronger it becomes in its action in your life.
I had a barrelback chair which I wanted to have upholstered in vinyl to blend with our new couch. When I checked on prices to have the job done, it really seemed that it would be an expensive proposition. When I thought of attempting to do it myself, I was well aware that I had never done any upholstering before, and I couldn’t see myself beginning with the tufted, rounded back of a barrel-type chair.
One day I mentioned it to Dottie, a friend, and asked if she knew an upholsterer who would be reasonable and also do a good job. She asked to see the chair and then said, “Why don’t you do it yourself? I upholstered a barrelback chair one time. There’s nothing to it!”
She pointed here and there and said, “You just pull the material over here and tack it there.” It sounded simple.
After she left, I thought about it. Both my husband and I enjoy do-it-yourself projects around our home, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of covering the chair myself. The impossible began to seem perfectly possible — not only possible, but a challenge that should be met. “Besides,” I said to myself, “if Dottie could do it, I can!”
And I did. There were challenges along the way, but there was a tremendous joy of accomplishment when I finished. I enjoyed it so much that when I got through, I looked around for other upholstering challenges and reupholstered the dining room chairs, the telephone chair, and an antique rocker that had been in my husband’s family for a hundred years.
When I showed the chair to Dottie and her husband, I recalled that she had said she upholstered a barrelback chair herself. Her husband looked at her and asked, “Do you mean that chair you did twenty-five years ago, when we first married? Why, that wasn’t anything like this one, and you didn’t use vinyl. You used a soft material that’s easy to fit.”
By then it didn’t matter. The impossible had been done.
The minute the impossible begins to fall into place in your mind, you have all the power you need to do it. Love is that which helps you to do it. Love of accomplishment literally works miracles. Love expressing in and through a home also will accomplish wonders.
Love Built a Garage
My husband and I decided to add an attached garage to our house. He had never built anything larger than a cabinet before, but he thought he could. So he planned to do most of the work himself.
Being a novice, he sought advice on the easiest way to build a garage. Friends suggested a simple, flat-roofed structure. He was still in the planning stages of the flat-roofed garage when another friend came by one day. My husband had great respect for this man’s opinion, because he knew him as a builder and a true craftsman.
This man was horrified that we would think of adding a flat-top to our home, which was unique, being constructed with open-beamed ceilings throughout. He said, “Of course, you should carry the beamed effect into your garage!” Then he set about pacing off the measurements, showing how it could be done.
The idea of a garage with open-beamed ceiling really seemed a mammoth undertaking, and not at all possible for a novice.
But my husband agreed, “Yes, it would look a lot better!” The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea, but he didn’t feel that he could do it himself. So he asked, “Will you advise me and work with me on it?” The friend said he would.
My husband went ahead ordering the materials, including huge beams up to 25 feet long. He was ready to go, when the friend was in an accident and went to the hospital for an indefinite length of time.
By that time my husband was in love with an idea. He could already see the garage with the beamed ceiling in his mind. It might have seemed impossible at first, but the more he thought and planned, the more possible it appeared.
There were many challenges along the way, but once the idea took over, the garage had to be built, and it had to be done in the best way possible.
We built what is probably the only garage with a genuine open-beamed ceiling in northeastern Ohio.
It couldn’t be done, at least not by an amateur, but it was. It was done in love and by love.
A few years later we fell in love again, with another idea. Climbing to the top of a knoll on a beautiful piece of property that was for sale, we began to talk about the possibility of building a home there.
Love did it again! With my husband as contractor and myself as architect, we built a unique home, with solid cherry beams, hand hewn oak lintels and other features that simply are not seen in homes today. And we built it all for the view, with patio doors and windows designed to make the most of it. Quite an undertaking for a couple of amateurs! But again, love found a way.
Love can meet any challenge that arises in your life. It can meet and overcome the large or the small thing. It can, and it will, when you, in love, let the impossible become possible for you.
There is no challenge too great for love!
© 1986, Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann
All rights reserved by the author.
Reprinted with permission.