After doing some reading today, I realized that it's super easy for us (especially these days) to feel entitled to things. Even the simple things...a house, a car, a phone, a TV, etc. Most of us even expect to have the so-called American Dream - a spouse, 2 kids, a couple of pets, a house, white picket fence, etc. I know I pretty much expected to have/get all of those things when I "grew up." It wasn't a matter of "if," but "when." So when I read this today, it's safe to say I was slightly convicted of my attitudes...
The tough thing about this one little devotion, is that there is so much truth in it. I'm pretty sure I jotted down multiple "points" from each paragraph. Seriously. Really what it all boils down to is my attitude - my sense of entitlement, and my need for control. Those are serious issues!
I've said before that I know I don't have control over everything in my life, and I know that it's for the best. But I also know that I can get pretty dependent on myself and not want to give things over to God for Him to take care of, especially the "small" stuff. So when things happen, I get upset. I get angry. I get frustrated (or whatever) because God let something happen to me (like our gas getting shut off unexpectedly right before my parents' visit) - or he took something away (my dream of having our family together next week/month/year).
I really should rest in knowing that everything is in God's hands. I mean, really. Because His plans are always better than mine...and they always happen at the perfect time. Even when I don't get my way, or what I think I should get, when I think I should get it - it works out for the best.
It was not in my plans for Joe to be laid off, and then enlist in the Army. But then we never would have moved to Hawaii, I might never have started blogging, and I might not have the friends I've made along the way. It was definitely not my ideal plan for Joe to get deployed right after we moved to Hawaii. But we might not have Charlotte if he hadn't gone. It was not my plan to get pregnant so quickly after having Charlotte, nor did it ever enter my mind that I might have a miscarriage. But without either of those things happening, I might not have this baby girl growing and moving in my belly right now.
But for some reason, I can't always remember those things. Sometimes, it's difficult to accept what's going on in my life... Maybe because my focus isn't where it should be. And that's why I need these kinds of reminders. Because, man, wouldn't it be awesome for something like this to be said about me?!
He said..."The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. ~ Job 1:21-22
He didn't even blame God... After all he went through - losing his home, his family, his livestock, being severely ill and covered in boils - he didn't blame God. I don't think I can say the same...at least not after losing our baby in February. I'll be the first to admit that I was mad at God for allowing it to happen.
But the thing is...that anger did nothing for me. It didn't make me feel better, it didn't really help me grieve - it just got me stuck. I was stuck in that place for a while...until I found myself in church, singing along, and bursting into tears. Why? Because I knew my anger and resentment couldn't heal me. All the anger and stages of grief in the world couldn't heal me, but God could.
I suppose that's why the verse from Job resonated with me so much, along with the phrase from the devotion:
"The best response to loss or thwarted hopes is praise: The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."
So here I go, off to demolish my "brattitude" of entitlement, and need for control...