I shared with you the story about the couple who couldn’t pay for their groceries. This incident had a great impact on me, I really don’t know why because it was not the first time God had me do that type thing but for some reason, this incident humbled me greatly and caused me to think on some things I haven’t thought of for a while.
On the drive home that night, Breanne and I were talking about this couple. Breanne made a statement; she said ‘I don’t know what it is like to not be able to buy food to eat.’ Breanne has not always had it easy and many times she has experienced lack but never to that point. For me, it was a different story.
When I was a new Christian I had to learn about trusting God for provision. I was raised by a single Mom with four daughters, there was never anything extra. We lived simple lives and were happy with what we had, even though it was very little. My mom made all our clothes and she did the best she could, frankly, I didn’t realize we were poor until I was adult.
When I first began walking with God I started to learn about trusting him. I learned about giving and tithing and began to practice His principles. I was faithful to give even when I had very little.
There was one season I went through that was very difficult and I didn’t share that difficulty with anyone. For several months I did not have a job, I had no money coming in at all and God told me to trust Him. It was quite difficult. For many months I ate buttered noodles for every single meal.
There would be times when I didn’t think I could stand it another day and I would pray diligently, God would always have someone call and say ‘hey, what are you doing tonight? Do you want to come and eat with me tonight?’ It was a brief breakthrough but it was enough to keep me going.
I remained faithful to God through that season, and at the end of it, He poured out his blessings on me in a way I could not imagine. Perhaps that season is why this couple touched me the way they did, I did know what it was like to not be able to buy what I needed to eat. I could feel their pain and their shame and I was moved with compassion.
It is through challenging times that we gain that compassion I think. At least for me. There was a time in my life when I would have judged some things harshly however after going through a few challenges of my own, I am much more merciful. Now, instead of judging, I have compassion and I only want to show them how to come out of that place. I only want to share with others how much Jesus loves them and what he died to give them.
I think the greatest gift I have received through my challenges is a heart of thanksgiving. Because I was once in great lack, I am so very thankful for everything I have. Because I have battled sickness I am so very thankful for my health. Because I have felt great pain and disappointment, I am so very thankful for the joy of the Lord which is my strength.
Psalm 100:4 says; ‘Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.’
Just this morning, as I was showering and preparing for my day, I stopped and said ‘God, I want to thank you for showers and for hot water, God you are so awesome to give someone these ideas and plans to make my life better, thank you for all the conveniences I have in my life, I am so thankful for you.’ That started my day off right – a heart of thanksgiving.
Colossians 3:15 says; ‘and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.’
You know, today, I am not where I want to be…financially, physically or spiritually…but I am in such a better place than I have ever been and I am so very thankful. God has brought me through so much; he has shown me how to fight for peace and stay in his presence…there is no greater place to be.
Each of us has a choice. We can look at where we are and be sorrowful and disappointed or we can choose to look at where we are and be thankful for what we have. My life isn’t what I imagine it will be or even what has been prophesied to me…yet…but I am not finished and I have an awesome promise.
Actually I have several of them. He who began a good work in me will complete it. God’s thoughts toward me are good and not evil to give me a good future and an enduring hope. My God always causes me to triumph. No weapon formed against me can prosper. Whatever I sow, I will reap. He makes all grace about toward me so that I always have what I need when I need it. And I could go on and on.
Today I encourage you to begin your day by being thankful. Stop a second and tell God how thankful you are…we have so much to be thankful for…if nothing else, we have a God who will never leave us nor forsake us. That in itself is enough, don’t you think?