Have you ever noticed how sometimes we watch others receive the goodness of God in their lives? And we wait for the same goodness to appear in our lives, in exactly the same way. Only to end up missing out on the gifts God is giving to us because our gifts look different.
I don’t think I had ever really gave it much thought, until last night…
I’ve found that God speaks to people in different ways, ways that will touch their hearts and help them truly grasp what He’s saying. In my life, God speaks to me in various ways but one of my favorites, is through my boys (my dogs), Prince and Picasso. And sometimes it’s in the things I find myself saying to my dogs – without even realizing it. (Okay, yes. I do talk to my dogs. I am that woman and I’m okay with it.)
Let me set the stage for you…
It’s late last night and I’m studying. I tend to be a late night snacker, a habit that I’m trying to break, but last night I failed. Fortunately for you (and me), or I would have missed this little moment where God spoke to me. I’ll work on my snacking habits another night.
Back to the story… So I get up from my desk and head into the kitchen. Now my house is silent, so of course any noise in the kitchen causes the boys to come running to make sure they don’t miss an opportunity for food. I swear they can be comatose and still hear plastic packaging from a mile away.
So I pull out a box of cheerios; plain, non-flavored, heart healthy, blah, blah, blah, cheerios… definitely nothing to write home about. I’m a sucker for puppy eyes, so before I pour myself some, I get out two small handfuls and set them on the floor in front of each of my dogs. The boys quickly begin to consume their portions. That is until I begin to pour mine. As soon as I start pouring mine, Picasso immediately stops eating and makes his way towards me. Now some of y’all will think that I read way too much into the situation, but you don’t know Picasso. This is the only dog I know that will turn down food in hopes of “better food”. That’s exactly what was happening.
What I said next was what stopped me in my tracks.
“Picasso, you’re eating the exact same thing. Mine just looks different because it’s in a bowl. And while you’re hoping to get some of my cheerios, you’re missing out on yours.” (By this time Prince, my other dog, was happily devouring Picasso’s portion too.) Picasso was too focused on what I was getting and because of it, he missed his chance to enjoy the gift that was right in front of him.
Let me paint it for you like this (and give you a hypothetical human based scenario). Your friend, Karen, receives a job promotion, which comes with a pretty large raise. You’re happy for Karen. The only problem is you’ve believed for a job promotion for yourself and you haven’t received it. And the truth is, you really need God to step in and make a way in your finances. The bills are stacking up and without a miracle you won’t be able to pay all of them this month. You don’t just want a promotion and a raise. You truly need it. You watch Karen’s life waiting for God to work the same miracle in yours. Only to miss the miracle already happening, when you received a check in the mail you didn’t expect. A check that not only paid for the bills you thought you couldn’t pay, but also gave you the extra funds to go out and buy those new shoes you wanted.
You received cheerios. They just looked different from the cheerios that you saw Karen receive.
The goodness of God comes in all shapes and forms. And God’s goodness in my life may look completely different than it does in your life. But cheerios are cheerios. Whether it comes in a handful placed on the floor or poured in a bowl, God’s goodness is still God’s goodness.
I know what I am about to say will sound crazy, but those cheerios really got me thinking. I started thinking about my life and the times I’ve missed miracles that were happening because I was watching others’ lives. In this day and age where everyone’s highlights are on display across various social media platforms, it’s easy to find ourselves envious of others and more focused on the good we see happening in their lives. I know at times I have been guilty of this. My story though, is different from everyone else’s. It’s unique, written and designed only for me. And I want to walk out my journey. Go through my hardships and watch God’s faithfulness bring me through.
I want to receive my cheerios – no matter what form they come in. And I’m thankful for them all.
Romans 8:28 (AMP) And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.