For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.
— Job 3:24–26 (NIV)
How many times have you said something like this: “Oh, I just dread having to work in the yard this weekend,” or “I’m really dreading the Friday afternoon meeting with my boss”? Most of us have made remarks such as these when we know we must do something we do not enjoy. What we really mean is that we do not look forward to the task ahead of us and would rather not do it. But when we dread things, we drain ourselves of strength, perhaps without realizing that’s what we’re doing.
Dread is a symptom of a negative attitude, not the fruit of a positive attitude, and it affects our joy in a negative way. Dread is also a close relative of fear.
We can’t feel dread and joy at the same time. We all enjoy doing some things more than others, but we can choose to remain joyful and upbeat even while we do things we don’t particularly like. When we stay happy and positive, we usually do things faster and better, and we can then move on to other activities.
Whatever you need to do today, even if you are not looking forward to it, decide right now that you will not dread it. Instead, ask God to help you do it with a positive attitude. Don’t let an item on your to-do list decrease your joy, because “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (see Nehemiah 8:10).
Prayer Starter: Father, help me not to dread anything, but to have a positive attitude toward everything I need to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.