“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
Jamie and I have had a lot of trials throughout our marriage. In fact, my entire life, I have struggled in areas that have come easily for my siblings. My mom has often commented to me that I just seem to be the one destined to struggle in my family. Whether it’s been in relationships, finances, careers, or starting a family, there always seems to have been a road block placed in my path. I guess throughout it all, I came to expect the trials and just accept that life was always going to be hard.
But lately, I have started noticing that my life is pretty good. Sure, we have our problems (just like everyone else), but I don’t find myself wallowing around in the depths of despair. Jamie’s job is going well; I am able to make a small income while staying at home with my kids like I’ve always wanted; my children are healthy and happy; I have a beautiful family; I even seem to be getting along all right with everyone for a change (which is more of an accomplishment than you could possibly know!).
So that’s when I think Satan started planting little seeds of doubt in my head. I suddenly realized this week that I haven’t thoroughly been enjoying the goodness in my life because I keep waiting for the disaster to come! I wrote a post a while back based on the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Suddenly, I am seeing that verse everywhere! But instead of glorying in the truth of the verse, I have been looking for a reason that God would continue to put that verse before me. And the downward spiral begins – Is He preparing me for another trial? Is something bad about to happen? Why do bad things always happen to me? Here we go again!
Thankfully, we are studying James in our Ladies’ Bible Study, so I didn’t get very far in my wallowing before I realized what I was doing. Instead of taking joy in every situation and trusting God for every good thing, I was waiting for Him to allow the bad things to come into my life again!
We are so quick to put the blame on God any time something bad happens to us. After all, He is the Creator of the universe! He can certainly keep the bad things out of our lives! But according to James, He is the giver of all good things! So why do we look for Him to deliver bad things into our lives?
The truth is that God does want to give us good things, but we don’t let Him. Instead, we think that we know what is best for us and determine to stay away from the path He has laid out for us. While some things in this life may seem unfair – like children suffering, families losing everything in a bad economy, or evil men prospering – those things are a result of the sin that we have allowed to enter into this world. We made that choice. We broke God’s heart. Yet He still loves us. He still loves me, even though I wasn’t looking for the good that He would give me if I just asked!
I know that there are bad situations all around me. Jamie’s been struggling with his diabetes, and he isn’t sleeping well. Ephraim is finishing the last of his ear infection medication and isn’t always taking his naps as he should. Hannah has been peeing around the potty instead of in the potty! But I am just so thankful that all of these blessings are mine. God is so good!