Sometimes stories are like medicine or herbs- more powerful when taken together. These two events happened at the exact same time and really do need to be taken together. Our kids were young and quite a handful. My husband was working nights at the hospital and sleeping days. For quite some time, I had been telling God why my husband needed to work days, not nights. I had a list of good, solid reasons. I knew what I wanted God to do, and although I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, I really wasn’t going to be satisfied with anything but my own way.
Finally, one morning I woke up and was impressed that I just needed to stop griping to the Lord and telling Him what to do. Instead, I should thank Him for the job my husband had and the blessings that God had given me. So that morning, I apologized and began actively looking for the blessings in the job my husband had. I began to thank God for the blessings that I could now see had come from the hours my husband worked. It was so much nicer praising God than complaining to Him. As if the peace and gratitude I felt weren’t enough, that week my husband came home and told me that the administration was changing his shift to days.
At the same time, we had a litter of husky puppies that the kids loved to play with. Our son, Daniel was 7 or 8 years old. He loved Kianna, the mother of these puppies more than all our other pets. He had gone with me to choose her as a puppy. The first night we got her, he had taken her out of her crate and into his bed; he couldn’t bear to have her be sad or alone. More than any of the other pets, she really was his.
We also had a black tom cat. We kind of liked him, and he allowed us to pet him occasionally. But nobody seemed the least bit concerned when he was gone for days on end. One morning early in the week, Daniel looked out the window and was horrified to see Kianna eating a black cat. He wanted justice--nothing that cruel or mean should be allowed to live! It didn’t matter that she had puppies. It didn’t matter that it is a husky’s nature to kill small animals, or that we had tried to make the puppy pen more secure so she couldn’t get out again. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t bring the cat back to life. Nothing I could say to him mattered. All week long he was sullen. By the end of the week he finally came to me and said, “It’s okay, I forgive her.” Later that day we looked out the back door and saw our black kitty alive and well.
That week the Lord brought a lesson home to me. After Daniel had surrendered his feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal; after he had chosen to forgive & decided to leave justice in God’s hands, then God allowed our kitty to come home. It was not until I had surrendered my will to God and actively chosen to praise Him for the hours my husband had, that God chose to answer my prayers. How many blessings do we miss by thinking that we know best, or by choosing to nurse our feelings? The Psalmist said that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. Our Heavenly Father loves to bless us more than a father loves to give good gifts to his children. Words cannot describe how good He is to us! Oh, that we may learn not only to trust Him with everything, but also to give Him thanks in all things!