A man opened up a hot-dog stand by the side of the road in front of his house. His goal was to make a little money to supplement his monthly income. He didn’t have a grand plan for the whole endeavor but he did make great hot dogs, and much to his surprise people started stopping and buying them.
Encouraged by what was happening, the man posted a few hand-made signs along the roadside in both directions leading to his stand. He figured that maybe the simple advertising would increase his sales even more. And his hunch proved to be right as even more people started stopping and buying his hot dogs.
At this point, the man decided to go all in with his hot-dog business. So he quit his primary job and started buying his hot dogs, buns, and fixings by the bulk. He also paid for billboard space on the nearby interstate and ran ads locally on the radio and in the newspaper. All of this resulted in his sales going through the roof as cars full of people pulled up by the dozens to buy his hot dogs.
By now the man was so busy working day and night that he had no time for anything else. He didn’t watch t.v. He didn’t listen to the radio. He didn’t spend time on the internet. He didn’t read the newspaper. His whole life revolved around his burgeoning hot-dog business.
Finally, when he knew that he had to hire staff to help him, he called his son and said, “If you will come help me run the hot-dog stand, I’ll make you a full partner and we will share 50-50 in the profits.” But the son balked at the idea. He said, “Dad, haven’t you heard that we are in the middle of a recession? Times are tight, and businesses are going under right and left. This is definitely not the time for you to be hiring on staff.”
Now the man was worried about the future of his business. He thought, “I’d better buckle down and cut expenses if I’m going to ride out this recession.” So he started buying lower quality hot dogs, buns, and fixings, took down his billboard advertising, and canceled the ads he was running locally on the radio and in the newspaper.
It was only a couple of weeks before he started noticing a decrease in cars and sales, and it was only a couple of months before he was out of business altogether. The day he took down his stand he called his son and said, “Son, you were right. We sure are in the middle of a recession.”
Let me ask you something, Christian: Would those who know you best classify you as an optimist or a pessimist? I can tell you that if everything with you is doom and gloom, you are a pessimist. If you assume the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, you are a pessimist. If you think every open door is just one more opening for you to walk off a cliff, you are a pessimist. If you think that every new business is destined to file for bankruptcy, you are a pessimist.
And if you are a pessimist then you really need to pay attention to the words of Psalm 40:4-5. There, David writes:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you have planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
Don’t you just love that? First, David says, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.” Let those words remind you of all the good things God has done for you in the past. Second, he says, “…the things you have planned for us.” Let those words fill you with confident expectancy about the good things God is going to do for you in the future. So, don’t let all the naysayers keep you cowering in a bunker, pessimistic about everything, scared to death because they are telling you the sky is falling. Trust me, it isn’t. And why isn’t it? It’s because, Christian, the God you serve is the one holding it up.