Random events sometimes makes sense when they are all put together.
I've been struggling with contentment this fall. God's given me a vision for a meaningful ministry. He's even given me tools to use. I've been introduced to people who tell me that they marvel at the timing of meeting me and to the helpfulness of these tools in their lives. My journey is proving to be helpful to others as they walk with the Lord. Serious amounts of joy and purpose have surrounded all of that.
So what is the problem? Money. Events keep taking place that have drained our financial resources or things we are responsible for have shown evidence that they need our attention beyond our ability to pay right now. One solution to this problem is that I stop spending my time doing what I do. I go get a job that pays me for my time. Enter confusion and frustration. During the summer, I start asking God for help. Don't know how to be not confused and not frustrated.
Enter random events...
Devotional in Colorado includes thoughts on "being thankful in all circumstances".
Participation through the fall in a bible study focused on Colossians. Guess what is a very big theme in this book. Yep, thankfulness.
A friend gives me a book called Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I initially loan it out to someone in my small group because I have 20+ books on my must read shelf in my office. It gets returned to me the Thursday before Thanksgiving.
While devouring this book on gratefulness the light bulb finally goes off. Nope not random events at all. Instead they are all very purposeful answers to pray.
Dear beloved daughter,
You, my dear, have a gratitude problem. Don't beat yourself up to bad about it. It's a common problem. If you will take, what I've been showing you for a couple of months now to heart - then you'll be allowing me to change your life.
Your Heavenly Father
So at the end of Nancy's book, there is a 30 day devotional and journal project. I'm on day three. I'm very grateful to be doing this between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I'm also marveling once again how God answers prayer over time.
I've already seen confusion replaced with trust... ignorance with knowledge... frustration with hopefulness. All in the midst of no more clarity then I had a month ago about how God is going to provide. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this has been a significant missing piece. As I allow myself to focus on what/who I'm grateful for each day, I'm better able to give up on trying to control my future.
To my friends who have been in the midst of this confusion with me. Thanks for your patience with me. Thanks for listening to me work through this. Thanks for praying with me and for me.
"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." Apostle Paul