We’ve all had less-than-ideal things happen to us. That’s the nice way of saying “stuff happens”. Sometimes that “stuff” is really bad, even for the most faithful, Godly, and holy among us. Some Christians might find this disturbing–after all, isn’t God able to make everything go my way all the time–but the writer of Ecclesiastes showed us this truth a very long time ago, writing, “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to us all” (Ecc 9:11).
That’s just the way it is.
The real questions is this–what do we do when the stuff that happens to us is unfair, unfavorable, or just plain….uhhhh….not good.
In the place where we serve birds are a big deal. Owning a bird is considered to be one of the things that every person ought to have; a sign of blessing and happiness. Nearly everyone who is able owns at least one bird of which they take great care.
I’ve been working with a young couple for a few years now. They are serving the Lord faithfully in a very difficult neighborhood, praying for a breakthrough and the first healthy sprouts from their planting efforts among the people in their community. When they moved into this community they bought a bird–and probably skipped a couple of meals (or more) in order to afford it. Last week when I met with them they told a few day prior, Jona had been ill and forgot to bring the bird in at night. The next morning the bird was gone. They as a few of their neighbors is they had seen anything. One neighbor, in particular, was very upset and concerned that someone would steal their bird–a love bird, as this species is known here.
Sunshine, rather than complaining and bemoaning the fact that the bird was gone, took the opportunity to point this neighbors in a direction in which people don’t normally look at times like these. They expressed thanks to God for the blessings that this bird had brought their family, for their desire to forgive whomever had taken it, and their hope that wherever the bird found itself, it would continue to be a blessing to those who heard it’s song.
For more than and hour, Sunshine share a message and a testimony of hope, forgiveness, and ultimate trust is in the midst of a disappointing situations.
My prayer for myself, too, is that I would let every opportunity–good and bad–be an opportunity to share hope, peace, and love with the people around me.