“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Last time we were together I spoke about the difference between inconveniences and true tragedies. Not six hours after I typed those words, our electricity went out. They promised it would come back on approximately six hours later, but then kept texting and updating their restoration time further and further out. We finally got it back almost 24 hours later… still an inconvenience for our family, not a true tragedy. I found, though, that it was harder for me to have a good attitude on Friday about no electricity than it was on Thursday with no car and a lost transmission. I think it was the culmination of things and I was just physically and emotionally exhausted by now. Either way, though, I knew I had a choice. I could give in to the bad attitude brewing and allow the enemy to win or I could fight that attitude and choose to bless those around me. I chose the latter by cleaning a room in the house that I knew my husband would appreciate and has long been neglected; I chose to play games with my kids, building memories instead of working the day away and I chose to bless an individual with something they have wanted for a while “just because” I could. While doing those things didn’t automatically take away my bad attitude, they were still a conscious choice and I knew I pleased my Father because I had the want to make good choices.
I found out something important that weekend. This was long after our power was restored, our “new to us” car was in our driveway and we’d had a chance to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. We discovered that God used the power outage to prevent a true tragedy. The power outage prevented a house fire, fixing a problem that had been building and allowing it to be fixed safely before anyone got hurt. Not to our house, but to someone we know.
That was a great reminder for me. So much of the time life isn’t about me and my comfort. God allows things to happen in our lives and we get to choose how we’re going to react to them. While the electricity going out was an inconvenience for us, it was used to save someone else’s life, to prevent a true tragedy. If I had to choose between being inconvenienced and saving someone I care about versus keeping my electricity the whole time, I’m going to choose a power outage every single time.
My prayer is that when inconveniences continue to pop up in my life, and they will, that I will try and see them from a different perspective, from a position of how can I bless others instead of wallowing in a bad attitude and “maybe this is being used by God to bless someone else” instead of being about me at all. I’m not perfect and I’m sure I’ll fail at this sometimes, but my prayer is God will gently remind me so that I can be used of Him and not allow the enemy to win even one battle since I know God ultimately wins the war.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017