Powerful positive perspective

Published 6:11 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

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By QuaWanna Bannarbie

John Maxwell calls it the ability to see the good in any circumstance. When so much negative media surrounds us, it is hard to maintain a positive outlook.

I admit I am struggling to keep my positive perspective, especially when there seems to be so many people around me that cannot speak positive things. Just the other day, while my family and I were outside, a neighbor rode by my home and yelled to my husband, “Hey man, we are going to be in this for another three years.” My husband laughed as he was about to repeat the comment in humor. I glared at him and dared him to say it again. The neighbor drove away, likely to go spread more distressing messages.

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Why do some people find it necessary to spread negative and unhopeful news? I absolutely must find the silver lining in grave situations. Some family members say that I have difficulty facing reality. No. I just believe that there is sunshine behind the clouds. I am going to be the one to keep looking for it. I would rather spend my time watching for Jesus sightings.

In the period between the resurrection on Sunday morning and the 10 days prior to the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room, Jesus appeared to the disciples and other witnesses several times in His resurrected body. All of the times He appeared and all of the people to whom He appeared are not recorded. Nor are all the things Jesus accomplished during those 40 days. However, we do know that many people saw Jesus alive in that time.

We are in those days between Easter and Pentecost, and I know we will continue to see Jesus in the days to come.

I recently read in Forbes magazine an article titled, “9 Ways to Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” The final way struck me as appropriate to the commemoration of the Easter season. William Arruda recommends that we take a daily inventory that suggests that you “Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgement of something you accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help dilute some of the negativity you’ve absorbed and remind you that not everything that’s happening right now is bad or depressing.”

I wish to take it a little further. I encourage you to look for Jesus in the days approaching Pentecost Sunday.

Recently, I received a text from a friend that began, “Jesus has healed.” Just a few days before, this same friend had asked me to pray for his best friend of 18 years, who had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The friend was on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma on April 9. My family and my children prayed for healing. On April 13, the answer to our prayers and the praise report in my text message read, “Jesus has healed. I just spoke with my friend. He is talking and standing and laughing. Most importantly, he has dedicated his life to the Lord and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior on the hospital bed.” I shouted in praise as I read that message.

The healing and salvation of this person was my Jesus sighting for that day. In that moment, I shared with my children that they should not mistake that God has stopped healing or performing miracles because so much negative reporting is taking place in the world today. Jesus is still walking the earth. I truly believe that He will appear to His disciples just as He did before. I am looking for Him. Are you?

I read that 2020 will be remembered as the Year of the Pandemic. I refuse to give COVID-19 that much credit. The Day of Pentecost is recorded as such because the disciples reported what happened in that Upper Room and the news spread that the promise was received. Share your Jesus sightings with others and spread the gospel. Together, we shall see this year as the recorded days of the coronavirus which yielded such an abundant quantity of new converts and reconciled believers that the pandemic was only a vehicle to a more impressive event: The Year of the Plentiful Pentecost.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via QNikki_Notes or iamquawanna@thebiggerme.net.