One morning I was in prayer and was expressing some frustrations with the Lord about my past experiences and about things that had recently taken place in my life. Of course, after listing one or two things, before I knew it, I was going down a roll-call of issues and concerns. Note to self – once you start venting to God, it’s very possible that you will vent about the things that you thought you were over. You also start comparing your life with the lives of others. It’s the nature of the flesh. But at the end of this prayer-rant, the ultimate message to the Lord was that, I felt short-changed. I expressed this with tears flowing and resentment in my heart.
Immediately, after my confession, He spoke to me in a still calm manner and said, “you are never short changed in Me, because I make all things work together for your good!” I was so taken aback by this…I felt convicted – you know that feeling you get after you do something, that you know is displeasing to God. That’s conviction.
So what does it mean to be short-changed? What exactly was I saying to God? Short-changed means to be cheated or deprived of something that is owed.
So how was I feeling short-changed? The idea that I had to take care of my sickly father was one issue. I remember having a conversation with my grandmother, about assuming responsibility for his care, as it was too overwhelming for her. At the time, she was the care-giver for my father and grandfather. On the one hand, I knew that it was too much for her, but on the other hand, I didn’t grow up with my dad, so I didn’t want the responsibility. That sounds awful, but it’s real. There was resentment, anger, hurt…in my heart. Why didn’t I grow up with my parents? Why did my father have to get sick? Why didn’t he want me….remember, I started going down that list…why did I have to be short-changed! Why couldn’t my relationship with my father be like so-and-so?
Recently, my father passed away, and after his death, I began to reflect. It hit me – God DIDN’T short-change me at all. When He says that He makes ‘all things work together,’ He really does make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). We don’t realize it, but He does it when we’re not looking😊 The word of God says something that’s reassuring, ‘no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly’ (Psalms 84:11). We may not feel like we had the life that someone else had, or we had the relationship with our parents that we wanted. Maybe we didn’t experience many positive outcomes, but note that God still doesn’t cheat us. Looking back, my father was there for pivotal moments, while here with me. He attended sporting events, went on a road-trip with me, attended BBQs, family dinners, and even attended my graduation and graduation party. We laughed together and had special moments in the five years that he was here.
So, be encouraged because one of the other things God shared with me, at a later time, was that He knows the details of our life. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, what we need, etc. God has perfect timing, and despite that we may feel forgotten, God doesn’t forget our prayers. When I was a little girl, I prayed that God would bring my family back together. Thirty years later, that’s exactly what He did. Note to self – God doesn’t forget our cares and concerns, expressed through prayer. He works everything out for our good and He will NEVER cheat us out of the life that we are suppose to have. Hang in there and remember that He will never withhold any good thing from us and we will never be short-changed as long as we walk with Him!