Thankful or Temper Tantrum?

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” Proverbs 31:10 (The Message)


Last time we were together, I talked about going shopping on a Friday morning for four hours. I prepared everything the night before, ready to set out bright and early the next day. In all honesty, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I needed to restock our pantry, had limited funds, and wasn’t sure how it was going to be accomplished. Not to mention, I knew it would take a lot of time and my day was pretty full.

After waving to my daughter, we headed out, first to a new store to see about getting good bargains before venturing to our normal venues. To my dismay, the store wasn’t open yet. I didn’t want to wait around in the parking lot, so decided to head to our main store first and circle back around. My first instinct was frustration and annoyance. I wanted what I wanted and I didn’t have time to waste. However, God spoke softly to me, and reminded me I had a choice. I could either choose to be thankful even for this or I could complain, setting a negative tone for the rest of the day. I made my choice and prayed, “Father, this isn’t what I had in mind. I wanted to shop in a different order but I’m going to choose to be thankful and trust that Your plan is better. Somehow You will work this flip flop out for good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Our littlest piped up from the backseat, inquiring what I was talking about and I had a chance to explain to him the choice I just made. Not only was it a great reminder for me, but I was able to show through example that complaining isn’t necessary. We ended up saving $50 on groceries at our main store that morning because so many things I hadn’t realized were on sale. If I had bought them at the bargain store, I would’ve ended up paying more instead of less. That was the first blessing that occurred. Then, at the bargain store, an older man approached us and started talking to me about my purse, the one I mentioned in the post, Free or False Advertising. We ended up in line next to each other which gave us even more time to talk. Turns out, he and his wife are looking for a new church and I had the opportunity to invite them to join us at our church. And, the fact that the man was hard of hearing and I had to speak loudly, I just may have invited a few more unsuspecting people who were close by as well.

As I was driving out of the parking twenty minutes later, I thanked God for the saved money and the divine appointment He created between us and the older gentleman. I asked Him if this was possibly why He changed the order of my shopping that morning so that I could invite this family to our church.

I may never know the exact reason my schedule was changed. But I learned a valuable lesson. When I choose to be thankful, God has a chance to work through me to bless others. He also has a chance to bless me as well. When I harden my heart through temper tantrums, I restrict the ways God can use me to bless others and I miss the blessings He has for me as well.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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