Image of lawnmower by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if a circumstance is a blessing or a curse.

You’d think it would be easy to know if something was good or bad, wouldn’t you?

But you might not be correct.

I used to complain to anyone who would listen about how much work it was taking care of my parent’s yard. The huge corner lot involved endless mowing of the lawn in summer and raking of leaves in fall. Not to mention shovelling all the snow off the driveway and extra-long sidewalk in winter.

I’d gripe that caring for their yard would be the death of me.

Then one day I happened to look at my biceps.

Not bad at all. Sort of impressive, really, for a woman my age. I don’t go to the gym, so what was keeping me toned and fit?

Taking care of the dang yard, that’s what.

What I had cursed as a burden was actually the very thing that was keeping my muscles and bones strong. I repented for my grumbling and ingratitude as I realized that the big yard had been a blessing in disguise.

Sometimes God uses what appears to be something negative to bring about something positive. We shouldn’t be too hasty to assume that we know whether something is good or bad.

I heard of minister who had a very troublesome congregant. This person was always complaining about something or other. It was a constant hassle for the minister to deal with this person, and it drove him crazy for years.

Finally, the person moved away to another town and no longer attended his church.

The pastor was asked, “You must be so relieved! Aren’t you glad that person is gone?”

He replied, “No, actually, I’m not. That person kept me on my knees in prayer to God more than anyone else!”

Do you have something in your life that’s a source of annoyance or irritation?

Ask God to help you reframe it in your mind to help you see that He might actually have a purpose for that circumstance.

Trust that God is working in all things for your good. Most often, the good that God has planned is for you to become more Christ-like. This will inevitably entail going through unwelcome things; we usually don’t grow very much in life when we’re just coasting.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the word “curse” is made up of the word “blessing,” and vice versa. Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Realize that if God doesn’t remove a troublesome situation from your life, He may be using it to make you stronger. He did so for the children of Israel when they were entering the Promised Land.

God performed many miracles for the Israelites as they made their way to the land God had marked out for them. He parted the Red Sea for them, fed them manna from Heaven, and parted the Jordan River for them, too.

But it’s interesting that God didn’t erase their enemies for them once they’d crossed into the Promised Land. They had to fight for the land inch by inch; God didn’t hand it to them on a platter. They had to learn warfare and become strong in their own right.

So if there’s a situation in your life you don’t like, consider the possibility that God is working something in it that you can’t see right now.

One day, you might be able to see its benefits.

Until then, keep trusting Him.

And keep mowing!

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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