I find myself crying over vines a lot. As a matter of fact, I seem to be an expert in a selfish, critical, judgmental spirit, and this is at the top of my prayer list. We moved to Kentucky in June, and my husband is the Missions’ Pastor at Little Flock Baptist in Shepherdsville. It has been a great move, definitely God’s will, but as many of you who are in ministry know, moving is always hard. Buying, selling and places to live are essential. I am a teacher, so moving during the summer months was very helpful. In a moment the question of “Where will we live while our house in Tennessee is still selling and be able to financially survive?” was critical, God at just the right time supplied an apartment. The price and situation were exactly what we needed. But, well let’s just say, I remembered how easily I can be an Israelite and cry over vines like Jonah. God brought us here, had begun to do a good work, and I complained. And complained. With two trash dumpsters within rock throwing distance of our apartment and the waste management truck showing up to empty the dumpsters at 4:30 am, sometimes 3:30 am and once at 2:30 am, I had a hard time. When I used the stove, if I used more than one eye ( I have been told that it’s a burner) our oldest daughter Rachel had to stand by and fan the heat sensitive fire alarm as it blared.
We bought a grill. Many trips were made to the laundry mat, and I hugged my washing machine when it arrived in Kentucky. And as you move, you lose things. During a time when I was teaching my bible study “Broken”, I went through losing something new every few days. I knew the enemy was messing with me, but when I lost the key to our mailbox for two weeks, that about did me in. I could just see the mailman opening our mailbox to add mail to an impending explosion.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Phil 2:14 states. How can I be light in a dark world if I don’t accept the good with the bad? There is a purpose and season for everything by God’s design. If I am not happy with my living situation or any other of God’s provisions, maybe I should remember my brothers and sisters in Haiti who eat two meals a day because many don’t have food for three and feel blessed to have that. So many things that I view as bad are not bad. Every time I go to a foreign country on mission, I come back thinking about how
I am a spoiled American. How quickly I forget. Let us resolve this year to do God’s will, spread His love and good news and have a humble servant heart, not sounding like Jonah or the Israelites in their moments of whining which doesn’t glorify the good God we serve. And He is always good.
As a matter of fact, Chris Tomlin’s song Good, Good Father is still my favorite song these days. Here it is again: