Ever been in a situation where you felt sorry for yourself?
Most of us have. I confess to quite a few.
Let's just say the move wasn't my idea.
He immediately focused on learning what he needed to know and getting established. I could see how exhilarated he was by his work and the people he was getting to know.
Not me. We were still visiting churches, so I couldn't plug in there. Without family near us and no connections, I felt alone and adrift.
Maybe you've lived this scenario, too.
I kept reminding myself if God brought my husband to this place--and I knew He did--He must have something here for me, too.
But what? Where?
On one of those empty days I checked out a community non-denominational women's Bible study listed in our local newspaper. To my surprise and delight, parked cars stretched for blocks in all directions.
The teaching leader spoke from a podium at the front. She recounted the story of God freeing the Israelites from captivity and Moses leading them out from Egypt. When soldiers in chariots pursued them, God parted the Red Sea so they could escape to freedom. When they needed pure water in the wilderness, God provided it. Every morning He caused manna to appear on the desert floor so they could gather enough for the day and every at twilight He sent quail for protein.
And yet the people grumbled.
Exodus 16 tells us they looked back fondly to Egypt--and slavery--because there they could eat until they were stuffed.
Then our study leader lobbed a truth that hit home
She looked out at all of us and asked, "Are you wandering around in a dry, dusty wilderness of your own making?"
It seemed she was looking right into my heart.
Then she asked us, "Are you murmuring against God because the specifications of your life are not exactly as you would choose?"
Like the old story of how to get a stubborn mule's attention, that woman's words served as my much-needed "whack on the side of the head."
Nothing changed, but everything changed.
Once I took my eyes off Poor Pitiful Me and looked for the good in our new situation I found quite a lot.
(My husband said he got his wife back--and here I thought he hadn't noticed.)
Last week I thought of those times when I ran across an old prayer I've loved for years
It was found in the pocket of an unknown Confederate soldier, a casualty in the U. S. Civil War, 1865:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
Those simple, eloquent words touch my heart every time I read them. How about you?
Love from your fellow learner,