“Come on, guys. Let’s get ready to go to the park!” I’d turned away from the window while Jack’s car backed out of the driveway and slipped down the street as he headed out on yet another business trip. My heart pinched, knowing I would miss my husband, but I was determined for my children and for me not to become bitter over his frequent necessary absences.
Father, why does he have to be gone so much? I often pouted, complaining to God in my heart. Then I heard Ruth Bell Graham share how she would plan something for her children to look forward to when her husband had to travel. What could it hurt to plan a trip to the park or museum, a movie and popcorn at home or some other activity that we could enjoy together?
Though I still missed Jack, at least I kept my sons from focusing on Dad being gone so often. Little did I know how well it worked, at least for one of my kids, until years later. He told me that he looked forward to when his dad went away, because I always did something fun with them.
Life is filled with trials, as God’s Word predicts. Some overwhelm us with grief and pain. We can only give them to God and wait. Then what do we do? I struggle, finding plenty to complain about. Just as I changed my own attitude in the past, I need to find ways to stay busy while I wait on my heavenly Father, to remember the gifts He’s already given while He works behind the scenes.
Maybe that’s what the psalmist, David, was thinking when he wrote: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits . . .” (Psalm 103:1-2, NKJV) He then went on to list those benefits given by God to His people, giving us an excellent example.
I may not be able to change some of my current circumstances, but learning to be more thankful, instead of complaining, could change me for the better. By His grace and power, I can change my focus. While you wait for answers to prayer and situations to change, what is your focus today?
Kathleen Rouser wanted to be a writer since before she could read. She creates characters who resonate with those who realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. Her first novel, Rumors and Promises, was published by Heritage Beacon Fiction/LPC Books in April 2016. kathleenrouser.com