Looking at things from another Perspective can make us more Thankful
I have been an office manager for several years at the same company and I could see that change was coming. So I prayed against it, and I was too scared to pray “Lord, Your will be done”, because I did not know what His will was. Although I suspected that it did not match my will. Instead of seeking His guidance, I prayed for exactly what I wanted, which was that I would be able to continue managing my same location. I told the Lord, “I really can’t handle a transition right now. I have been through this a few times over the years and a transition would simply snuff out my last bit of enthusiasm for this job.”
Lo and behold my boss tells me that they are not transferring me to another center. They are transferring me to two centers! Two centers which I have worked at in the past. Two centers that I do not like. “Ok, Lord we have a problem. Did you not hear my prayers? I specifically asked not to be transferred. Not only am I being transferred to one center that I don’t like, I’m being transferred to TWO centers that I don’t like! TWO! Lord, what is going on?” Within in my spirit I hear “Trust Me.”
Alright ladies, look: I love God, He has been faithful to me, and He has preserved me through some very dark times. Even so, trust is a real problem for me. So when He said trust Me, I was livid. I said, “Trust You? I trusted You when I prayed about this job, and You ignored me. This is transfer is counterproductive, and this does not make me want to trust You. This is the worst thing that could have happened aside from being fired!” I may seem dramatic but believe me this was exactly how I felt.
Then I hear, “What if there is someone there who needs Me? And I immediately shot back, “I don’t care, I don’t want to go!” (If I were, God, I would have struck me dead right then and there) At that moment my pride, selfishness, and immaturity became blatantly clear to me. I repented and decided I would do my best to trust God during the process. However I was still disappointed and distressed about the situation. Ultimately, I decided to suck it up and do my best during and after this transition. I received godly advice from a few friends and I began to pray. A few days later my boss says, “One of the locations is being remodeled soon and I don’t want you to have to go through that again. So for now we’ll just transfer you to one location.” Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, you heard my prayers!
I’m driving to work the next day and I said, “thank You Lord for hearing my prayers.” Then I started mulling over my life and said, “My life sucks.” To be perfectly honest with you, I say this to myself from time to time when life gets rough, but for the first time, I heard something back. “Why do you think your life sucks?” And it is hits me. I’m NOT thankful. Why am I not thankful for my life? Being in a pity party mood, I decided to answer the question. “Lord, my life sucks because my job sucks, my Mom died, I can’t seem to get certain relationships right, I’m not good at this, I’m not good at that.” I listed quite a few other things and then I realized all these things are circumstantial yet, I had allowed circumstances to steal my thankfulness.
Imagine giving your friend a sweater for her birthday and she exclaims, “thank you!” But then, “you know this is really not the color I would’ve chosen for myself, it’s a little long for my taste. Oh and is this Anne Klein?… Calvin Klein is really my favorite.” Can you imagine?! You might be tempted to snatch that sweater back. This is exactly how I was with God. “Lord, thank you for my life…. but my life sucks. My life did not turn out the way that it was supposed to. Yes, God, I’m so grateful for my life… but I really wish I was married, and that I didn’t have to work, and that I didn’t have any problems.”
Does that sound thankful to you? I was NOT thankful! But check out how GOOD God is. He did not condemn me for my ungrateful attitude. He changed my mindset. My Mom is dead. I miss her, I am still mourning, and my heart aches knowing that she will not be at my wedding or see my children or be there for any more holidays. When my Mom died, my world stopped. I wanted to stop. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the death of a loved one. Through all that God made sure that I was surrounded by people that prayed for me and my family during that time. It’s hard, but those prayers have been answered, and by His grace I am able to grieve. Yes, I wish my Mom was here. However it would be a mistake to be so consumed with her death that I refuse to appreciate those who are still here. I still have my Dad, my Grandma, my siblings, and many others.
As for the rest of my woes, well, they are circumstantial. Temporary situations. They may be difficult situations yet God is with me in every problem. I can give God my concerns and disappointments, and I can still be thankful. I do not understand how certain things could possibly be working for my good, but I can still be thankful. I choose to trust Him and be thankful.