Like most people, I am more moved by someone who is able to give thanks to God even when things have not turned out as expected. I read of such a mindset in this week’s Lookout. A woman named Jeanette relates about having experienced 15 years of poverty and disappointment.
In 1998 she and her husband and son moved from the California Bay area to Reno, NV. Her husband’s job was a letdown. She couldn’t find steady work as she is visually impaired and is unable to drive. They could only find an apartment in a dangerous part of town. But they did find a good church home. They had another son, Nathan. Her husband had a heart attack in 2004 and it literally bankrupted them. Her husband left her shortly after she made what she called “a crushing discovery” and they were divorced. He left her with enormous debt.
Her church family helped her immensely but she was broke and had to move back with her parents in CA with her youngest son Nathan. She had nothing with crippling debt and was unable to drive. She learned to be very frugal and learned to buy one week’s worth of groceries with what some spend at Starbucks in a week. She learned to make homemade gifts, had a store within walking distance.
She said “Having returned to my childhood hometown divorced, bankrupt, and in foreclosure, I knew better than to expect life to turn out as I planned. But I also knew God was faithful to provide for all my needs and use every sad season for good. I had a long list of reasons to grieve but just as many reasons to be grateful.” And she said, “Thank you God for that bittersweet decade and a half.” She was thankful for how God made her dependent upon Him.
That is a good place to be. Habakkuk 3:17 says, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD; I WILL TAKE JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.”