Wednesday, October 16, 2013

God Will Set Your Course as You Thank Him

We found a restaurant yesterday. Actually, it’s been in Mena a long while. But it’s been bought by someone new and they’ve renamed it and done some extensive changes inside and out. When I walked inside with friends I felt such a calm peaceful atmosphere.

Once we sat down a woman came and shared some information about the restaurant. We were intrigued to meet “Sophie”. We were expecting an elderly woman! Much to our surprise we were greeted at our table by a beautiful woman from Cambodia. She looked like she was in her 30’s. Youthful and radiant with a smile to match. She told us a little about her life in Cambodia.

We prayed together, our group and Sophie. First we prayed for her. Then she prayed for us. Then she thanked the Lord for the rain. It was sweet, simple and God breathed.

We did not set out looking for a divine appointment. We just got in the car, talked about eating and then Danny drove to the little café. We also thought this divine appointment was us to her. But no it was reciprocal at least if not entirely about her to us.

Most, if not all of us, have either been through something rough, are going through it or will go through hard times. For those of us camping on Iron Mountain in Mena Arkansas, 48 hours plus of rain is a hard time. We’re sick of it! We’re mildewed. We’re wet. We’re penned up and chilly. That’s our hard place.
And then you meet someone like Sophie, who as a young child survived the Cambodian Death March, losing family members and having to be grown up at such a young age. Then she thanked God for the rain! And we grumble at the very thing she gives thanks for.

All of us are going to go through things. We’re going to have hard times, hard places and hard decisions. We may not have to walk a horrendous death march, but we’re going to have to travel to the valley of the shadow of death. We will have to let something go we loved or let someone go we cherished. Will we thank God for the rain? Will we smile a heavenly smile because we know that God is getting us through it? Will we let anger, resentment, unforgiveness all go and embrace the truth that God is with us? More so, can we say God even has purpose in it? Will we stick with Him even when we don’t see anything good in sight?

Oh beloved, God knows. He really does. No one else on earth may know the extent of your situation, but God knows. And because He knows, you can know that He is with you. And because He is with you you can rest in His promises, rely on His wisdom and live in the light of His love. If you will let Him, He will take your darkest hours and make them shine like the sun. You may not see His purpose now, but it’s there. And when you get through this to the other side and you are right in the center of His perfect will, don’t forget to look back and thank Him for the rain.

God loves you and He’s for you. And that, beloved, will give you a thankful heart as you learn to lean on Him and let Him set the course of your life to live for His glory alone.

Psalm 71:7-8 My life is an example to many, because You have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising You; I declare Your glory all day long!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Psalm 116:16-17 O LORD, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, born into Your household; You have freed me from my chains. I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.


Anita Stafford said...

This is a beautiful reminder about thankfulness, thank you for sharing this touching story.

Debbie Arnold said...

Isn't it lovely when God plants unexpected blessings in your path such as Sophie. We should all be thankful for those special times of joy. Thanks for sharing.