Today, I’m delighted to share another guest post by Pamela Simpson. The day she sent it to me, it was exactly what I needed to hear. It is a word of encouragement that will not be surprising to most of us—we’re all familiar with the old adage about “blessings in disguise.” But these clichés stick around for a reason. Namely, they’re true. I can’t speak for you, but I know that my life would be much more joyful if I remembered the heart of this message more often. Next time something goes “wrong,” take a moment and wait on God. Give God a chance to show you how it might actually be going “right,” in ways you can’t yet see.
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A few days ago I had a carpet installation crew in my house, ready to install the carpet I had ordered. Before the work began the bill had to be paid. I handed them the credit card. It was declined. I knew I had plenty of credit left on the card and the payments were up to date. I asked them to try again. Declined. I called the company: it was a Saturday and they were closed. Embarrassed, I had to send the installers away and reschedule.
I was irritated, frustrated and unhappy, to say the least.
Over the past few days my two-month-old cell phone has been acting up. The screen goes black randomly, cuts of texts and calls, and freezes up. Today, I took it back to where I bought it. They observed the strange behavior of the phone, but then informed me that they will not honor the warranty on the phone because the screen is scratched. Despite the fact that a scratch on the screen would not cause the kind of problems I am having, it is considered “damaged” and therefore, the warranty is null and void.
Saying I was annoyed to hear this would be putting it mildly.
I believe these little things in life that don’t go our way are just reflections of the things that really matter in life. They give me an opportunity to practice my reactions to adversity, and ability to look past the apparent to the possible.
Let me explain.
After the installers left, my neighbor came to me, explaining he had a nephew who installs carpet and could probably do it for half the price. I was a little uncertain, but thought I should give it a try. So, I called the original place to cancel the installation. When asked why I was cancelling, I explained that it was too pricey for me right now and I found someone else to do it a lot cheaper. Miraculously, they were running a “special” in my neighborhood. They offered me the same carpet and same installation at almost half the price I was originally quoted. I rescheduled with the company I trusted and saved hundreds of dollars.
So, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new cell phone. I really need one that works. As I told the sales woman to ring me up, she says, “Wait. If you wait till later in the month and are willing to change your cell phone number, you can get in on the new promotion: $25 a month for unlimited talk and text.” What? $25 a month? I asked questions, looking for the catch or the cut off. There is none. Hmmm… look at that!
We all have stories like this. To quote an overly used cliché, they are, indeed, blessings in disguise.
As I reflect on these “annoyances” that ended up saving me significant money, I wonder how many times in life I have complained about something God has allowed in my life; something that didn’t feel very good at the time, but, in fact, turned out to be bringing richness into my life and building my treasures in heaven. There are times we see the better side of a difficult situation while we are still in it. More often than not, we don’t see it till long afterward, if at all in this current life. But as these recent experiences have reminded me to be careful about immediate reactions to apparent annoyances, it challenges me to be more careful and mindful of how I react to all adversity in life. I should sit back and wonder, what is God doing here? What blessings may come?
I am very aware that there are things that happen in life that don’t have these kinds of happy endings. Not every aggravation leads to some kind of pleasant surprise. But, I am reminded to be more intentional about looking for them – in the big and little obstacles in life. For they all reflect something of the treasures and glory of God.
April 13, 2012