Lisa Santelli, GFC Lutz
Have you ever poured your heart into a project or a unique cause, just for someone to say, “This is great, but…”. Over the last year, I spent a lot of time on a special work project. This required additional skillsets, extra trips and many new resources. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting. It took a great team effort and we were all very proud of the result. But since then, I’ve had details and things pointed out that some would have done differently. As I was fighting the annoyance of these different opinions, I felt the theme of this sentiment was, “I’m grateful, BUT…”, which made me question their appreciation.
– This is nice, BUT…
– I know this is a huge improvement, BUT…
– I know it was done this way, BUT…
Recently, as I was venting my frustration to a friend, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “But, don’t you do that?” Talk about a sucker punch to the gut. How often do I express my gratitude to God with that three-letter conjunction, “but”?
Over the last year, I’ve had a huge prayer request with specific details. I’ve seen movement and God work in some unique ways. I’ve had peace, even when it doesn’t make sense. And through all of this, I can still lose focus. A few weeks ago, God answered another part of the prayer, and even though I was grateful, I wanted to rush ahead, asking God for His next move versus celebrating the BIG move He just made.
I’m grateful, but… God wasn’t moving in my timeframe.
I’m grateful, but… I wanted a bigger portion of this prayer answered.
I’m grateful, but… When will the next move be?
When I look back on this work project, it was before one of the ‘opinionators’ was in the mix. They weren’t part of the planning, the production, or the progress. They didn’t see all the wheels turning to make this happen or the hurdles crossed to fully understand how it all came together. They didn’t have a full grasp of the whole picture.
When we look at Abraham’s life, God made a promise to him that He would bless Abraham and his descendants greatly. In Genesis 12, we see a small glimpse of the beginning of this fulfillment as God is directing Abram (before God changed his name) to a new place. There were some stops along the way where Abram pitched his tent. At each stop, Abram “built an altar to the Lord”. Let me reiterate…he built an altar! He marked that spot. All to give thanks to the Lord. What does building an altar mean in present times? I believe we “build an altar” through worship and thanksgiving. So, in each new place, within every move God directs, we should take a moment to reflect, and sit in His presence with worship and thanks. Each time Abraham built or went to the altar, it was to keep His focus on the Lord, give thanks and listen for and trust God’s next move.
God is the master planner. He is moving mountains and making ways that we could never fully comprehend. He is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28.) He has been planning long before our prayer requests started going forth. So, let’s turn any disappointment, doubt, or unmet expectation to praise and thanksgiving with a reminder to celebrate every move. Journal it. Mark the progress on the calendar. Send a thank you note to the Lord. Let’s focus on having a gratitude attitude as we sit in the midst of our answered prayers.
Lord, help us to see You in the midst. Let us recognize Your handprints and footprints as You are moving mountains, separating seas to make a way for all the promises You have for us. Give us patience, peace, and trust that You are with us, completely in control, guiding every step. Lord, we sit in Your presence today, completely in awe of Your goodness and grace over our lives. Thank You for just being You!