“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I pulled the door shut and dropped my head against the seat. Taking a deep breath, I started the engine and sat for a moment, letting the cares of the day roll away like the waves at low tide. What was the problem? I wanted this. All of it. And yet, here I sat, complaining.
As I drove home, the Lord whispered into my heart a request for thanksgiving. Not just for anything, but specifically for that place I had just left in my dust. From past experience, I knew that I could either resist His request and continue feeling sorry for myself, which would do nobody good especially when I arrived home (you know that saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”), or give myself a quick pep talk and pull my thoughts out of the gutter. I chose the latter.
“Thank you so much, Lord, for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you for the time it has given me to grow and prepare for the next season you have waiting for me. Thank you for the things I will continue to learn from this experience. I know it will make me to be a better person, and for that reason I am grateful for this time.” Immediately my mood shifted and peace filled me.
There are times of sowing, and times of harvest. Times to travel through the wilderness, fully relying on God, waiting for Him to lead, and times of rest in the Promised Land of a situation. Blessings overflow and it’s easy for our joy to be full because of all we have at that time. Right now, God has brought me into the wilderness, for a time of “preparation.”
Any waiting time can be difficult. I remember my wedding day, anxiously awaiting the evening hours when I could finally walk down the aisle. I remember waiting forty weeks for both my children to arrive into this world. Why does it take that long till birth? Preparation. Doctors have spent countless hours preparing for their medical exams. I wonder how many hours law students actually spend studying to pass the bar. Life is filled with times of preparation in the wilderness and times of bounty. But what really matters is when God calls us to the wilderness, will we accept it with joy or with complaining?
Does It Matter What We Think? I know without a doubt God is preparing me for the next step. Don’t ask me what that next step is. I couldn’t tell you. Is it always fun? Nope. Do I ever want to cry? Heck yeah. Do I trust Him? For certain. And that’s what I will focus on. I trust the Lord with all my heart, and I can rest in the fact that He knows what’s best for me. If I waste time whining and complaining, anxiously longing for the blessings at the end, I will miss the journey. And you know what? I’ve come to realize that God actually wants us to enjoy the journey too. Let’s not waste another day wishing for something to come in the future. Live for today, filled with thanksgiving, and enjoy the journey by fully resting in Him. I can promise you it’s absolutely worth it!