We want to let God prevail in our lives and do what is right – always. But I think we sometimes feel frustrated when God doesn’t prevail in the ways we want Him to. We want Him to prevail over the challenging circumstances we experience and we want to see more of His miracles and blessings in our lives and the lives of those we love.
It’s true that God doesn’t always miraculously bless us with easier lives when we ask. But He will bless us – miraculously – with things we need to endure our ongoing struggles.
One such blessing for me happened recently when I was making dinner. I’ve been feeling the heat from my own refiner’s fire as I’ve been caring for my aging dad. I’m barely good enough to be a mom as it is and this added effort has me stretched beyond what I’m capable of doing. My own family’s needs have been neglected and, once again, I found myself staring blankly into the fridge wondering what to make for dinner.
I had intended to put a pot roast into the crockpot that morning, but life happened and there I was. Dinnerless. My refrigerator stood as a cold reminder of the complexity and stress I was experiencing as I stared at piles of old leftovers I knew hadn’t been touched in forty years.
I teared up. I was mad at myself for not getting that pot roast into the crock pot. I felt like a failure as a homemaker.
I pulled out bags and bags of moldy, old food. I have been trying to stay on top of house work, but with the current stressors, some things, like cleaning out the fridge, have fallen by the wayside. I pulled out moldy cheese. Moldy pasta sauce. Moldy pizza. Moldy meat. It was a mess.
Practically everything was moldy, but I did see some mashed potatoes I’d made the day before that weren’t. There weren’t a lot of potatoes, just a little. But I could possibly make potato soup with them and have enough.
I saw a container stuffed into the far back of one of the bottom shelves. It looked like meat of some kind. I was sure it was moldy, too, (everything else on that shelf had been moldy) and I pulled it out to throw it away. As I did, I saw that it was leftover pot roast. I don’t remember the last time I even made pot roast. Gross. But pot roast would taste good in potato soup. I wondered if, just maybe, it was okay…
I opened the lid and looked inside. It looked good, and I didn’t mean to smell it, but the fresh smell of good, cold, pot roast filled the air. It smelled way fresh, too!
I teared up again. I was so glad. I prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for this pot roast blessing. I felt the reason I’d received it was because of my efforts to take care of my dad and do my best as a mom. Yes, I might fail at both things on a regular basis, but not tonight.
I remembered the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness and how God pointed out some of the blessings they might have missed:
Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. (Deut. 8:4)
I’m sure the Israelites prayed for their wanderings to end, but if they got that miracle, they would have missed the ones they had along the way. I’d love for my dad to heal and for me to suddenly become Supermom, but my journal includes this version of that scripture: Thy pot roast waxed not old in thy fridge, neither did it stink in these forty years…
Without the sad tears before dinner, there wouldn’t have been happy ones after as I told my daughters that the food they were eating was miraculous. God won’t always take away their troubles either, but I need them to know that He will give them the support, help, and power they need to endure even hard challenges.
If we want God to prevail, we have to travail. It’s in our effort to do what is right in spite of the miracles and blessings that we don’t get that enable us to receive the other miracles God will give us along the way.
Keep on Rollin’