Has there ever been a time in your life when you received something you didn’t want? It could be something as simple as an unwanted toy as a child, or an invitation to an event, or maybe someone asked you on a date and you didn’t want to go… If you are at all human, which I suspect you are :), then one of these things has to apply or resonate with you somehow. So, with holding to that thought, ask yourself this: Has God ever given you something you didn’t want?
We always praise God for the gifts He gives us, the ones we want and are happy about. What about those we didn’t ask for? The ones we pray he never blesses us with? Should we be grateful for those as well? Should we offer Him praise for the un-wanted gifts, too? James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from God.” Psalm 103:2 says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His blessings.” There is an argument to be made here that the scripture is saying to only praise God for His good gifts, His blessings. However, if you study the scripture then you know what is good to us may not be good to God, and what is bad to us may actually be a blessing from God. Let me give a very simple example: One day I was headed into work. As I headed out the door, I realized I didn’t have my keys. I looked everywhere and could not find them. Ten minutes later, I found them underneath the couch. As I drove to work, upset at myself for being late and fussing in my head, I came upon a wreck. Less than a mile from my house, directly where I was heading, a woman in a car had been side swiped by another car. She was killed instantly. I had a car full of kids. Ten minutes earlier, that could’ve been me. I immediately thanked God for my lost keys! At the time, those keys being lost surely did not seem like a blessing. I couldn’t see the bigger picture, but God could. He allowed me to have ten minutes at home, so I wouldn’t be on the road and in that wreck with a car full of kids. He gave me the gift of being late.
That is a very simple example of God knowing what is “good” for us. Recently, my past has found a way to catch up with me. Things I don’t want to deal with or remember, have literally been shoved in my face from every angle. I hate it. I am not ready to deal with it or process it or even think about processing it. Remembering these things is not something I look forward to, it’s something I dread. I’ve prayed for almost 7 years to not have to deal with any of this, preferably ever. Last week, I walked in the door after therapy, to my middle child asking my questions I had no intention of answering for at least another 5 or 6 years. I literally walked to my bathroom, locked the door, and cried. I don’t cry pretty, either. I cry ugly-like red faced, puffy eyes, hair everywhere-ugly. I wanted to turn around and go straight back to my therapist and say, “What the heck do I do???”. I didn’t though. Six months ago, I would have, or I would have stayed in bed for a week or gone to the hospital for a breakdown. Yeah, it was that serious. Instead, I walked out of that bathroom and went on with my day. When my husband came home from work, we sat the boys down and talked with them about any questions they had. Again, afterwards I went and ugly-cried in the bathroom, but I came out. I went to bed, and got up the next morning and kept going. That same issue was thrown in my face later that week through social media. I remember asking my husband how much longer until I could see my therapist. I didn’t think I could make it. I did, though. And when I finally got to therapy and told him what all had happened, he told me he was proud of me. (?!?!?!) I was shocked. I’m fairly certain my eyeballs popped out of my head. He laughed and told me he was proud because I handled it and still went through my daily tasks and made it back to therapy, basically unharmed. Yes, we have a ton of work to do on this particular issue, but no, it won’t kill me. I told him I thought Satan was trying to attack me; that’s how I felt. He saw it another way. He saw God working on me, forcing me to face things I didn’t want to but needed to. He saw God telling me to forgive when I wanted to hold a grudge and keep hating the issue, as well as myself. I never saw that. I never let myself see that.
This “gift” from God was not what I wanted; it wasn’t what I expected; and it surely wasn’t what I felt I could handle. I can’t honestly say I’m happy about it, yet. Hopefully one day I will be able to say that, but not today. Today, I just say “okay.” I’ll do what You say, Lord. I’ll follow Your lead. These gifts don’t seem like blessings to me, but to God, they may be exactly what I need in order to heal. For now, and forever, I’m trusting Him.