Remember that job interview? Well it turned out pretty well, and now I have two jobs and a set of keys and an official work email address! I feel so employed! The jobs are an answer to prayer. In the first I will get to do most prep from home, and bring my children with me when I’m at work, in the second I have no prep work to do at all, and will get to spend 8 hours each week with my mackerdoodle while she’s at school. I work less than five minutes from the seminary and with people I really genuinely enjoy. It is the best case scenario for a mother, and seminary wife, and one car family.
You may recall that for the first two years of the mackerdoodle’s life, I had a similar sweet work gig: working three steps away from my husband, and being able to bring my precious miracle baby to school with me. Having now blessed me with children, the Lord has seen fit to provide me employment in which I can continue to be the primary care giver to my young children. It is a blessing that not all mothers have, and for which I am not ungrateful!
However, as I watch this unfold so perfectly before me, answering every prayer and sorting out all the details but one teensy wrinkle (a matter of the van being at the seminary when I finish work on Tuesday afternoons; hardly insurmountable), I find myself frustrated with God. Why? Because if he can bring all of this together perfectly, why doesn’t he do it with everything? Why was this so beautifully wrapped up with a bow, but our house in Georgia remains an albatross around our neck?
It’s a petulant and childish response to a good and perfect gift. It makes God’s faithful provision all about my shortsightedness and turns my focus away from the Giver of Good Things to the selfishness of my own heart. It is the equivalent of my children turning away from their favorite meal, perfectly prepared and saying, “If you can do THIS the way I like it, why do I have a bedtime?” The implication in my complaint against God is that He is solely concerned with my happiness. The reality, however, is that God is concerned with His glory and my growth to be more like Christ. At the moment both purposes are served by granting me a job exactly as I asked, and granting me a situation that is the antithesis of what I asked and doing them simultaneously.
What I fail to recognize far too often is that the struggles, too, are good and perfect gifts when seen in the light of God’s ultimate purposes. All good and perfect gifts come from the Father, it’s just that some are recognizable as good and others aren’t.