I was sitting on a bench outside of Bob Evans® Restaurant waiting on my family. As I sat in the sun next to the American flag pole surrounded by colorful flowers and crisp green trees, I felt such a sense of peace. I have been praying for something specific in my life, and I just felt God tell me right there on that bench that I need to continue to have hope. Then a little butterfly flew right by me to rest on the flowering bush. One of God’s small, simple, beautiful creations made me smile as I felt His presence flittering around me.
You see I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and I’ve been praying a lot and haven’t really seen the answers I want. And sometimes God doesn’t give us the answers we want. But His plan is better than my plan. His ways are better than my ways. His thoughts are better than my thoughts.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8.
I know all that. I’ve read it. I’ve prayed it. But that day, God sat me on a little wooden bench in a flower garden outside of a restaurant and reminded me of it. Sitting on a bench. Waiting patiently. Taking in all the wonders around me that God put there. I think Forrest Gump was on to something!
Job 9:27 – I will forget my complaint; I will change my expression and smile.
If anyone had reason to complain, Job did! He had lost his family, his home, his animals, everything in his life that mattered to him except his faith. Somehow he kept a good attitude and found a way to smile.
There are many days that things don’t go exactly as I had planned. I’m a list maker and a planner. I like planning my day and feeling like at the end of it, I have accomplished a lot. Every day I have a need to be productive. I want to be able to see the fruits of my labor. If I can’t see results, sometimes I complain and search for the culprit that interrupted my perfectly planned day of productivity.
The other day I saw a nest of 3 baby birds. I got the binoculars out just so I could watch them. They were asleep for a while. Then they woke up chirping and opening their mouths because they were hungry. Pretty soon the momma bird came over with some worms to feed them. The momma bird seemed to stay around to protect them after they were awake until they settled down in a peaceful state again.
It reminded me of how we are a lot like those baby birds in our lives. We seem to be going through life peacefully and then some sort of problem comes our way and wakes us from that peace. We cry out to the Lord and he comes over with some spiritual food to help us. It’s at this time when we need scripture reading, prayer and worship time to help get us through the tough times.
Sometimes it’s hard to be at work all day when you have other things you would rather be doing. Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when it’s nice and warm outside. Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when your friends are teachers and have the summers off; when you would rather be anywhere doing anything else.
But here’s the deal. If you work outside of the home, you were hired to do a job. If you are a stay-at-home worker, you have responsibilities as well. It’s important to fulfill that responsibility no matter if you want to be there or not. So we need to find some way to make the most of the work day and have some fun while doing it.
So let’s take “The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker” approach.