Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"1 (Lyrics)
In 1948, a friend introduced me to his younger sister. In 1956, I married her. From the time we first met, I was impressed by how positive she was.
I was all the more impressed when I learned that in 1937, living in Trail, British Columbia, Canada, when she was eight and her brother nine, they suddenly lost their mother. They were sent to Victoria, British Columbia, to live with their father's family. Two years later, their father remarried, but since he had to return to work in Trail, they saw their father only once during that two-year period. To stay positive was surely a gift from God.
Throughout our sixty married years, living in nineteen different locations throughout North America and even India, raising three children, ministering to hundreds of teenagers at church over nineteen years, and even having to bury a 41-year-old son in 2005, she remained positive — certainly more than I was able to.
She often said, "We make choices all the time, and I choose to be positive."
This attitude was maintained even in the final suffering days of her life. I will never forget when a nurse, preparing for a procedure, said, "Mrs. Walter, this is going to hurt, but I will be as gentle as I can." She replied, touching the nurse on the arm, "That's okay, dear. I know you are doing your best. Thanks for helping me." That brought the nurse to tears. She normally would be cursed, not thanked for such a procedure.
Was this positive attitude a reflection of the Lord she loved?
In my imagination, I can visualize God the Father saying to Jesus, "You are going to have to go to earth as a baby and then die thirty-three years later in order to save the people that we have created who are making such a mess of the world." I can imagine Jesus responding positively. While we have no such record, we do know what He said just before His death:
Luke 22:42 – Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. (NIV 2011)
Jesus commanded us to continue His ministry, and my wife's ministry has continued even after her death late in 2016. The 60-year-old manager of our favourite eating place has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was very upset when our son died from that disease in 2005, and again when our daughter-in-law died similarly in March, 2017. He thought very highly of my wife and missed her also. In trying to ease his distress over his own cancer, I told him about my wife's challenge to choose always to be positive. A few days later, he said that he had had a much better week, since every time he felt discouraged, he remembered Mrs. Walter and her challenge.
With God's help, let us try to be more positive. You may find great help in Paul's words:
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (NIV 2011)
Prayer: Father, help us always to choose to be positive. Help us to follow Your Son's example in always doing Your will. Thank You for Your Spirit's guidance. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Thank you for such beautiful wisdom.
A touching story, Vincent. Thanks for sharing.
A wonderful message, Vincent. Thank you, and bless you.
Thank you, Mrs. Walter. I am also positive but today I needed to hear this message.
Thank you for your message today. It was just what I needed to be reminded of – stay positive.
What a wonderful example!
Thank YOU for this positive message.
An awesome testimony and one I am keeping to read again as needed. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless you.
A compelling story of Godly positivity, told in an encouraging way. Mr. Walter, you ministered to my soul today in an area I struggle with. Thank you. God bless you.
Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. You must miss your wife a great deal. Yet, in spite of grief, you blessed us with this devotional. Thank you again for sharing. Blessings.
Thank you for a moving devotional. My mother of 97 years lives with me and has also always encouraged me to look on the positive side. With God’s help I usually do. It makes every day brighter.
Good morning Vincent,
What a wonderful story, sad but also encouraging. Thank you so much for writing.
Thank you for that devotion on being positive. I try to remind myself to be positive in all circumstances and your message was uplifting. Blessings,
Thank you for this wonderful testimony Walter. My dad always said, there is really only one thing in life we can control and that’s our attitude. He and your wife were right. Having a positive attitude is a choice and it’s the best one.
What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing this as a devotional. It is a lesson we all need to learn – I Choose To Be Positive.
Your Mrs. Walter was truly a special child of God. I have a friend who I am going to send it to. God Bless.
Good morning Vincent,
I just wanted to thank you for today’s devotional; it appears, without you realizing it, that you also have your late wife’s positive attitude and outlook. You inspired me today in my own struggles and I appreciate it; may God continue to guide you with such wisdom.
Dear Mr. Walter,
Thank you for sharing these deep, personal parts of your life: your wife’s decision indeed continues to touch others. May you and we continue in the Lord’s grace and peace, as she did.
Dear Vincent Walter,
Thank you for emphasizing the benefits of choosing to be positive based on the choosing of Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is a precious devotional.
Dear Mr. Walter,
I thank you for your devotional today. It is what I needed to hear today, and I am sure it is God’s answer to my prayer earlier this morning.
Thanks be to God.
Thanks for the warm and loving testimony about choosing to be positive!
I love it!
Just what I needed today!
I thank the Lord for you and each of the Daily writers.
Thank you for a truly uplifting message Vincent.
I am sorry for your losses but I see you are carrying on the good work of remaining positive throughout all circumstances.
It can be hard, but it is far more therapeutic than being gloomy and negative.
May God continue to bless you and hold you close.
This was very touching and so true. God bless you as you carry on God’s will. I was thinking just this morning of how God’s heart must be breaking when He sees the mess the world is in. We have challenges and I choose to also be positive. Thank you for your devotional today. Amazing to go through what you have gone through only with God’s help.
Thank you for the meaningful devotion. I see that positive spirit in my little granddaughter who is 2½ and was sick. Her mother said to her in the evening I am so sorry you are not feeling well and she replied, “That is okay Mommy, I had a nice time with Grandma”. Made my heart happy but also see how we call can work on looking at the positive side of things. I am sorry about the loss of your dear wife. Sounds like she was your soul mate. Blessings.
Thank you for your beautiful devotional.
I had a close neighbour and friend who had cancer as well. She went through all the pain and suffering with your wife’s attitude. I ached for her when she told me of circumstances that caused her great discomfort. She just mentioned these as part of a normal conversation. No bitterness.
Her attitude has blessed me through trials I have gone through. I miss her a lot but her memory is always close at hand.
I pray our Great Lord continues to bless you always.
Thanks for a very uplifting devotional. Your wife is a real inspiration.
God bless you for sharing such encouraging words.
It has truly been the very nature of your late Wife to remain positive irrespective and we thank God for her life and ask God to keep her in His bosom.
May her memory live on.