It was 1984 and we had nothing to eat. We had just been married a year and now we were living in Denver. Michael worked at a gas station and I made minimum wage working at computer data entry. Things were very tight. We had no furniture except for two bean bag chairs. We slept on the floor. We ate on the floor.
One particular day in June I had gathered together $1.69. We had absolutely no food in our small apartment except for a bag of hotdog buns. I was going to buy a jar of peanut butter. We would make sandwiches with the buns. This was going to be all of our meals for the rest of the week.
As I walked out of the grocery store with my small jar of peanut butter I repeatedly said
“Nothing will happen to this jar of peanut butter.”
I finally pulled up to the apartment. Stepping out of the car, I nervously held the brown bag with my peanut butter in it. It slipped from my hands. In anguish I picked up the little bag and peered inside. The glass jar was completely shattered.
I thought “I will pick out every shard of glass and we will eat the peanut butter.”
I went to the apartment and spent nearly an hour picking out the glass. I was so mad at God.
“Lord, we have served you, honored you and been faithful to you and now here we are in this apartment, sleeping on the floor and I am picking out glass so we can have a few meals.”
WHY WASN’T GOD FAITHFUL? WHY WAS HE MAKING US SUFFER? The Lord responded:
“You praise me in PROSPERITY but you do not praise me in POVERTY.”
I was shocked. He was right. I began to see how much easier it was to be thankful when things were going right.
That day I purposed in my heart to praise God no matter what the circumstances. As we chose to praise, instead of complain, things slowly began to change. Our finances didn’t change overnight, but our attitudes did. After a few months we moved back to the east coast and found better jobs. Eventually we were able to find a small cottage by the beach in New Jersey. Finances were still tight but our focus was no longer on what we DIDN’T have but on what we already did have.
“Give thanks in ALL things.” 1 Thess. 5:18
What are you going through that you are having a difficult time praising God for? Thankfulness is not an emotion, it is a choice.
“Heavenly Father, teach us and help us to give thanks in all things. Give us a grateful heart, no matter what we are going through.” In Jesus name we pray. amen
(Did we eat the peanut butter in which I had picked out the glass? We ate every bit of it – with much appreciation!)