Posted by: Anne | May 18, 2013

just what I need

“Oh, like I really needed THAT!”

Recently, I realized that muttering this line had become my almost involuntary reaction to just about any annoyance that I found myself facing. (Imagine it said with a scowl and a childishly petulant attitude and you’ve pretty much got the picture.)

Certainly, no one enjoys potentially frustrating interruptions to their schedule. But, to paraphrase a common line of thought, “If you sweat the small stuff, you’ll be sweatin’ all the time!”

More than that, I (finally!) grasped the connection between my grumbling and how it contradicts what I claim to believe… and I was deeply ashamed. Is this the same girl who is so quick to “Amen!” whenever anyone quotes that Bible verse about all things working together for good?

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
(More about this verse.)

What I’ve always loved about that verse is that it goes beyond affirming that God is in control to include what He does with that control. Makes only good things happen? No, that’s not what it says. Bad things happen, through bad choices (our own, or others’) or simply because we live in a fallen world. Happily, as this verse points out, that’s not the end of it. God uses His control to bring about good! When life hands me lemons, big or small, God is going to turn them into lemonade.

It’s a simple truth, but it’s easy for us to lose sight of the future good when our tendency is to focus on the current bad. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to be more intentional in remembering this promise. So that, the next time I’m faced with a so-called lemon, maybe I’ll react by reflecting on just a few of the ways it might be used for my good.

Maybe God derailed my plans for my own protection. What if I slept through my alarm clock going off because being on my regular schedule would’ve put me in the middle of an accident?
Maybe He is delaying my dream because He has something so much better in store. As one friend explains it: you’re heating a frozen dinner, and you want the food now, but if you try to eat it too early, it won’t be ready.
Maybe God has something for me to learn. I confess, I’m easily distracted, and I’ll surely miss it if He doesn’t get my attention.

In any case, I can be confident that it *will* turn out to be just what I need.

So, no grumbling!


  1. Patience: When bad things happen to you, inexplicable things, could it be that God is just simply working patience in you? All of us need to learn the Christian grace of patience. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” James 1:4 says, “Let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” You and I need to learn patience. The word “patience” in this verse is a Greek word that means to bear up under suffering and pain. And so, if God is teaching us patience, and it is a Christian virtue, should we not thank God when we’re enduring trials?

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