Our South Carolinaweather is full of surprises. One day we have the heat on, and the next, we are
ready to reach for spring clothing and sandals. Daffodils have popped up and some trees are in full bloom. While driving last week with my daughter, we turned around a cul-de-sac to get full view of a tree that bloomed overnight. It was breathtaking. I pointed it out to my grandson in the backseat.
“Isn’t that beautiful?” I excitedly said to him. “That means winter is leaving and spring is coming.”

“So that tree is what is making my brother have a runny nose?”

“Hmm. I guess so,” I answered, impressed with his three-year old conclusion. He had overheard us talking about trees blooming and allergies. Apparently, nothing escapes his hearing.
Those beautiful pink blossoms are partly responsible for sneezing, watery eyes, and a scratchy throat. They also give pause to stop and enjoy beauty. On one hand an annoyance, and the other, a joy; a lot like life.
We face fear but with it, an opportunity to take courage  (Psalm 31:24)
We feel weak but it’s an opportunity to learn strength 2 Corinthians 12:10)
We face trials and hurdles but they are an opportunity to embrace grace  2 Corinthians 12:9
We are stressed and it’s an opportunity to know peace  (Philippians 4:6-7)
We are puzzled, but we have an opportunity to gain wisdom. James 1:5 
We grieve, but it is an opportunity to know comfort.  2 Corinthians 1:2-4
The pink tree remains an example of our Creator’s magnificence and at the same time a source of discomfort for many who have allergies. But we have a choice: I can still look and sneeze.
Circumstances, experiences, and dilemmas are present and may not go away, but I can choose how to look at them—the treasure of refinement to see God work, or ignore the opportunity and complain about my sneezing.
What do you think?

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