I like to look back at life and remember God’s abundant blessings, but the more I do, the more I realize how many of these blessings came from trials and times of having my patience tested. I remember being in those situations and asking God, “Really? Is this Your plan? Explain, please.” I imagine God chuckling sometimes when I ask Him questions, giggling like somebody who has a big secret they’re trying not to give away.
When I was twelve years old, my family went to a conference in Florida for Dad’s job. One morning that week, when we were getting ready to head to the beach, a friend of our family called and told us that our house in Oklahoma had burned down the night before. *cue 12-year old panic* My saint of a Mom immediately brought us all down on our knees by the hotel bed and starting praying and thanking God that we were safe. At the time, I thought she had lost her mind. Mom…my boombox was in that house. (Am I really that old now?) Weeks later, “God’s best” started to become evident. All our family photos were in the coat closet and were saved when the coats fell down on top of them. Our family videos were saved, as well as our baby albums. And after God had blessed us through hundreds of insanely generous people from our church and school who sprinted to help, we had more money, more possessions, and more friends than we’d ever had with our old house. God used a terrifying situation and turned it into one of the best things to ever happen to my family. Our house burning down was also the catalyst to my relationship deepening with the Lord. He allowed our house to be destroyed so He could give us a far greater blessing…He wanted to give us His best.
I didn’t date much in high school. I had a few crushes and dates, of course, but struggled with self-esteem issues as I got older because only a handful of boys seemed to have any interest in me, as I watched some of my friends go through new boyfriends every month. I refused to settle for someone that I wouldn’t consider marrying, but it was difficult being single while so many of my friends were not. I surrendered my self-esteem issues and relationship-obsessed thoughts to the Lord one week at church camp, telling Him I’d be perfectly content staying single until He brought someone to me. The very same week I prayed that prayer was the week I met my husband. [To you precious, single girls who think the world is cruel and that all men are stupid…I pray this post gives you hope. WAIT for the good ones; I promise you they’re out there.] I truly believe that God rewards patience. I won’t tell you I was a perfect content example of patience, because I wasn’t, but I did say no to those that were not God’s plan for me, and after I finally fell into contentment of being single, Andrew appeared. Like magic. With blonde hair and blue eyes and a heart for the Lord. God works in mysterious ways. I had to wait for God’s best.
And perhaps the most silly, but most recent, of examples…my dog. My sweet, precious German shepherd who we nicknamed Lucifer for the first few months of his life…he is now God’s best for me too. I stayed home with him most of yesterday, and watched as he played by himself, didn’t chew on a single thing he wasn’t allowed to, and even laid down next to me to snuggle. He didn’t bite, he didn’t bark; he didn’t even annoy me once. ;) Maybe it’s the training…maybe it’s the fact that we neutered him almost a month ago…or maybe it’s that God is rewarding our patience with the playful pup. He’s giving us His best.
And maybe He doesn’t give us His best right away because we obviously don’t always know what’s best for us. Perhaps we need to endure some of our worst choices and times so we are more appreciative when God’s best comes along. So the next time you’re sitting on the kitchen floor crying over your misbehaved dog or eating dozens of cookies while you tear up about your lack of a love life, consider that God’s best is just around the corner. You just have to wait for it. :)