Not long ago, our part of the country was experiencing exceptional drought conditions, and it was like that for year after year. It was incredibly hot and dry. The leaves on the trees died (as did many of the trees), it was so hot that I could almost feel my skin burning anytime I was outside, and the ground was beyond parched. Any little bit of rain we would get was nothing compared to what we needed to get “caught up.” We went day after day, month after month, with no rain at all. Clouds would come in and tease us, then blow away without leaving enough behind to settle the dust. We were desperate for rain.
We prayed for rain like we would have prayed for food if we’d been starving. I told the girls that when it finally started raining we weren’t going to complain about the inconvenience or discomfort. We were going to thank God for every drop we got.
It finally started raining enough to slowly improve drought conditions. Last summer was unseasonably cool and wet, and that has continued through the fall and winter. We are starting our second week of having precipitation, so it’s cold and damp here, which is something we’re not used to. When I woke up this morning, I was so tempted to complain about how tired I am of rain. And then I remembered how thankful I should be. I remembered how terrible the absence of rain is, and I decided to be thankful instead that our area is getting the rain it needs to recover from the drought. It is getting the rain we need to have healthier crops and healthier trees and grasses. This is cause for rejoicing, not complaining!
I find myself doing the same thing in my role as wife and mother. How many times while I was growing up, and on into adulthood, did I pray for the man who would become my husband, did I ask God to give me children? Too many times to count. And I got what I prayed for—a man who loves me and loves the Lord, is faithful, works hard, and is a good father to our children. I got two beautiful daughters who have already made professions of faith, who work hard at their school work, who have gifts, talents, and abilities that will serve them well throughout their lives, and who are compassionate and kind. What more could a woman ask for, right?
All too often, I find myself complaining about my family too. If they don’t do something exactly like I would do it, or they do something that irritates or aggravates me, I find myself ready to grumble and complain instead of rejoicing and praising God for this beautiful, wonderful family He has blessed me with.
I think it’s the human condition. We are more likely to be negative than positive unless we set our minds to be intentional about gratitude and praising God for what He’s already given us.
Despite my circumstances being far from what I would like for them to be right now, I am incredibly blessed. It’s time I started acting like it.