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We recently walked through a season of hard things.  The hard things haven’t all resolved, but the onslaught has slowed and now we’re more adjusted to this new “normal” that we have been given.  I was feeling so discouraged, asking God to just show me that He cares even in these times.  And do you know what?  He did.  We are talking literally things delivered to our doorstep, placed in our hands… phone calls of encouragement, cards, notes… Jesus showing up through family and friends.  It was really, really beautiful.

We received those blessings and I promised God that I would honor Him and remember those moments when I was feeling discouraged.  Whenever I read the Old Testament, I’m always a little judgey of the Israelites.  “How could you ever doubt God when He gave you an actual pillar of fire to follow?  What about the burning bush?  What about the Red Sea actually parting?  When He has done these things, how can you ever doubt Him?!”

Ha.

Within hours of receiving some of these blessings, I found myself feeling discouraged and even angry at God because of a certain situation. Why was He allowing this?  Why didn’t He fix this?

But that’s the thing, isn’t it?  He’s going to grow us in everything, the good and the hard.  He asked me to slow down my own thoughts and turn towards Him. He reminded me that the Israelites were human, just like me.  He showed me that the root of the problem wasn’t Him-I mean, of course, but sometimes we forget.  The root of the problem was my own ungrateful heart.  I get frustrated with our kids when they have just received something and still ask for more.  They like the new shoes, but oh, what about that sweatshirt?!  Finished with one birthday and already making a list for the next…

That’s me, you guys.  And maybe that’s you.  Thanks, God, now what about this?  Maybe if we sat in gratitude a little bit longer, our perspective would grow a little bit wider.  I’m in it with you, friend.  I understand.  I’ve been trying since then to slow down, be grateful for His showing up in different ways, and meditating on His goodness.  It’s been helpful.  It doesn’t take away the hard times, but it encourages me through them.

There is a longer arc to what we are living than we can understand.  Just like with the Israelites, just like with our children.  He’s got us.  Hard things to the blessings, He’s got us.