“My son and husband were shooting pool with two other men, when I joined them in the recreation building in the campground we were staying,” said my friend. “Gradually other men came in, until I was the only female among a room full of men, all shooting pool. Reluctantly, since I enjoy watching, I decided I should leave.
“When I returned to our motor home, I felt a little left out and disappointed at feeling like, I really had to leave, even though there was nothing offensive being said or done during the pool shooting. I discovered, moments later however, that it was perfect for me to leave. I had work to do that wasn’t getting completed there! In that instant, I thanked God for the circumstances that forced me to return to our rig.”
My friend’s comments made me stop and reflect on what is important. We are all vulnerable to feelings that leave us wondering what in the world is going on! We get frustrated at circumstances we can do nothing about. We experience anger when justice is not carried out like we believe is necessary. We suffer doubt when our lives are careening down a direction we scarcely can control; yet through it all there is always another side.
There are times when a flat tire, missed bus ride, bad timed phone call, a forgotten item which requires a return trip from where we started, detour, or any number of situations that can set us into a state of frenzy. It’s in these times we must be most thankful. We may not feel like saying, “Thank you, God, for my flat!” But we can say, “Lord, thank you I didn’t lose control of the car when I had my flat.” We may not want to say, “Thank you for making me miss my bus ride.” But we can say “Thank you, Lord, for providing a transportation system for our use.” Be creative! There really is a silver lining behind that cloud, giving you a reason to praise God.
Our frustration can be turned into satisfaction as we watch events unfold in ways we didn’t expect, or feel our anger dissolve into peaceful calm as we observe honesty and integrity overrule efforts of injustice. And as our doubts and worries are replaced with faith, confidence and certainty, because we believe in a Sovereign God, we can move forward knowing we are not alone no matter what “events” fill our lives.
God’s Word tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. God can use those “unwelcome” circumstances to his advantage. He has the ability and will, if we are willing, to use all situations to His good. There isn’t always instant knowledge of how the “good” has worked out. But if we allow time for reflections, sometimes we can see it. Other times, we just have to be faithful, and thankful, knowing He will work it out.
So I challenge you to look at those “unexpected, unwelcome events” from a different perspective. Look at them and smile, while you wait to see how God will use them!