This week I was lamenting to the owner of our local fruit farm after I learned that our late frost this spring stole nearly 80% of their fruit crop. “I’m so sorry you lost so much of your crop,” I commented. “I knew this spring would be hard on your trees.”
Her response shocked me: “At least we got some. We are pretty happy about that!”
Wow. 80% of their livelihood stolen by the frost, and she audaciously claims happiness.
This got me thinking about perspective and something my Daddy always used to say: “We’ll take what the Lord gives us.” He said this most often in the context of his garden, but he also said it about a host of other circumstances that life dealt us.
As I have taken on my first larger garden this year, this perspective has shaped my outlook, too. Gardening is really an act of faith. I put a seed in the ground. I tend it. I water it. I keep the weeds away. And I hope that God makes it grow to give us plenty of fruit. It’s not terribly difficult to look on my smallish garden this way, but I was pretty astonished that my local fruit farmer could maintain such a positive perspective about 80% of her livelihood!
We’ll take what the Lord gives us. It’s a posture that acknowledges his ultimate control over every detail of our lives. And it postures us correctly for gratitude, that what he has chosen to give us is, ultimately, for the greatest good.
Not everything that we are dealt in life is easy to be grateful for. I confess I am not often grateful for my father’s dementia. I am not grateful for a pandemic that has stolen what little time in his memory I maintain. I have seen him only once since the outbreak began in March. I’m so grateful for that visit though because it gave me glimpse of God’s continued goodness, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Because although dementia has taken him from my life and from the lives of my children in the way that I wish he could be there, it has also placed him somewhere else, somewhere that God knew he needed to be. As we visited with him and his nurse aid back in July, I realized that even though his mind his dimming, his light for Jesus is not. His nurse knows about the day he met Jesus and his journey with the Lord ever since. He has shared Jesus (on repeat, I’m sure) with many of the people who now care for him. I have to trust that this, too, is part of God’s good plan to redeem every circumstance in our lives. It doesn’t mean I don’t grieve our losses, but I can rejoice and be happy in what God is still doing.
We’ll take what the Lord gives us. We trust that he is good. We can choose a grateful perspective. What circumstances are you struggling with right now? Where is it hard to see God’s goodness? Instead of looking at the losses you’re experiencing, where can you see God’s loving hand still forming goodness? God cannot NOT be good, and he is always actively working to redeem every situation in your life and mine for the greatest good. I encourage you to choose a grateful perspective today. To audaciously claim joy in the midst of all your difficulties. To take what the Lord has given you and to say thank you.