It has been an interesting week, full of good things and those circumstances which frustrate one's soul. For instance... I peeled and diced the rest of the butternut squash a few nights ago, an effort worth the outcome but a sharp knife is a necessity! When they were almost finished roasting, hubby arrived home a little out of breath and tired.
It seems the van ran out of gas just as he was reaching the mailboxes near our gravel lane. Thankfully, it was a quick walk home where he had gas left in the gas can he keeps for the lawnmower... and no one hit the van flying over the small hill near our home.
I am SO thankful he didn't run out of gas on the other country roads in the dark. He hadn't taken the cell phone with him since he was only going to one food pantry at 5:00 (it is getting dark now by 5:30). This was the week he goes to a few food pantries.
I must admit, I was thankful that he didn't run out of gas until he was close to home but I also was frustrated that it happened at all. Do you ever stomp your feet and complain about circumstances that come from living in a fallen world?
I don't want to put a few dollars worth of gas in the van at a time. I don't want to have to go to food pantries. I mean, really... complain, complain, complain. But then I had to repent and become thankful again for He does take care of us in such a lovely way.
God uses us where we are... all of us. For instance, my husband is on a committee researching ways to better the food pantries in the community. He would rather be there as a business owner instead of as one who uses the pantries... but he is still where God wants him.
That goes against some theology today but if we weren't in this position, he would not be able to change some practices (like handing out rotted food, yes... they have in the past). He has also ministered to people he has met through the food pantries, those much worse off than us.
Sometimes He places us where we do not want to be so He has people in places where they can minister... to be His hands, His voice, and His representative in the darkest places. How we choose to act in the darker circumstances of life is how He can use us.
We have had two complete financial reverses due to my husband's health (the second from which we never recovered) but God has given the grace to go through it. We did everything we were suppose to do... go to college for a good job, tithe, put money in an emergency fund, etc... but the very One who created us said He had a detour off the expected path.
I have a few friends who have wayward children over whom they lose sleep, others have sit in a hospital waiting room while a family member suffers, siblings have fought and lost life threatening diseases, and many Christians in the world suffer the true hardship of persecution.
I can't really complain, you know. I live not that far from Canada and they are a friendly people. I don't know what it would be like to live in Syria, Israel, or other countries where war is either raging or soon to explode. I watched a news account this week of a church in Moscow bulldozed to rubble while the police watched and did nothing. Amazing...
He understands when I stomp my feet and pout a little, especially when I think of how dangerous it was for the van to be out like that. Just recently the left headlight went out and the right side mirror broke, too. AAAACK! But then I remember the family who gave us this van and how we don't owe anything on it... I am thankful!
People are still suffering on the East Coast and I am in my own, home warm and cozy. I was shocked by the explosion in Indianapolis that leveled part of a neighborhood... and I can curl up with a cat, a throw, a book, and a hot pot of tea.
Thursday is the American Thanksgiving Day celebration... my favorite holiday. Proclaimed a special day to give thanks for the Harvest. A Feast Day! A day I refuse to be taken over by the shopping god.
No... this day belongs to the God who created the seed and the sun and the rain and the people who have Someone to thank for it all... and I can thank Him.
You see, life does not have to be perfect to be good. :)
This week, you can give Him the best gift... the one He can receive from no one but you. A thankful heart... a thankful attitude... a sacrifice of praise in the midst of imperfect circumstances.
You cannot always control your circumstances and what life throws at you. You can control how you let it define you.