Thank Him Before It Happens

Sometimes God lets us sink low to get our attention, then when the time is right picks us up, dusts us off, and lavishes us with His love.

Both my husband I were discouraged. It had nearly been a year to the day since we felt God had told us to sell our house and belongings and move from British Columbia, Canada to the United States. We were self-employed and work in our cabinet shop was slow. Our emotions were completely frayed. We lived and died over every interest in our house or with every quote for a kitchen we would give.

This had gone on for an entire year and we were completely worn out. It was a warm spring morning, but still too cool to leave the house without a jacket. Just before leaving for church, I put on my winter coat. I caught my reflection in the bedroom mirror.  Tweed somehow didn’t seem to match my outfit. I started to say “I wish I had a spring jacket,” but then stopped myself as that would have only made my husband feel worse. There was no money for extras. I kept the thought to myself.

As I walked into the church I was met by a woman. “I hope you don’t mind,” she said as she smiled, “but I have a spring coat that is too long in the sleeves for me. If it’s ok I would like to give it to you.”
If it’s ok?  Of course, it’s ok! I knew in my heart that God had heard the very sigh of my heart and was about to lavish some love on me. I returned home with high emotions.

Throughout the week I thought of the coat. The dark clouds started to creep back in. What if the coat didn’t fit, or what if it was something I didn’t like? Maybe I had been presumptuous about thanking God for it before I saw it? After all, we were sure He had told us to sell our house and move, but that hadn’t happened. I awoke the next morning before dawn. The family was still sound asleep. I pleaded with God like the persistent widow and questioned why He continued to give us false hope only to repeatedly be disappointed. Eventually, the sun rose and its beams filled the living room. My begging prayer began to change.  I started to thank God for what He was doing and what He would do.

My parents had generously hired my husband and me to help do some renovations on their home. It helped pay some bills but my heart was still low. That same morning, as I was painting their bedroom, my husband walked in with the promised coat. I burst into sobbing tears. It was brand new, with a tag still attached, and it was gorgeous! It fit perfectly and was exactly what I would have picked if I had had the money. My heart sang!

I could end the story here and you would be left with warm emotions about how God answered the very sigh of my heart, but the full meaning of the story would be left out. Yes, God heard the very sigh of my heart and wanted to lavish love on me but He also wanted to teach me to trust Him, to thank Him for what He WAS doing instead of fretting about what He seemed not to be doing. It just so happened that the coat had been at my parent’s place all week but Mom had forgotten about it. I like to believe God prompted her at just the right moment. You see God had taught me a valuable lesson.

I began to thank Him for what He was doing and thanking Him for selling our house months before it ever sold. He was prompting faith in action. Eventually, our house did sell. God’s timing was perfect. In hindsight we can now see if He had sold it earlier the economy would not have supported a new business where we were moving to, and if He had waited any longer the dollar exchange would have prevented us from having enough money to move. If you find yourself feeling low, if it seems like your prayers aren’t being heard…REMEMBER, God is indeed listening. He hears even our smallest sigh. He also sees the big picture and has our best interest in mind.

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9 thoughts on “Thank Him Before it Happens”

  1. The truly beautiful aspect of our Father’s love for His children is that He wants us to place our total trust in Him, even though we don’t know the destination or the solution to where He plans on leading us. Without this kind of faith in our Saviour, it is impossible to please Him. We must believe His Word and Direction in our lives, even though we can’t see or feel the provision in the present. He loves us beyond our ability to comprehend. He also wants us to grow in our faith and become more like Jesus His only begotten Son.

  2. Ohh Shawna!!
    This blog post couldn’t have been more timely!! I soo needed this encouraging post, just now!!! I lost a dear, cherished 3 year client to nursing home care in August and have struggled to replace 30 hours in my schedule. Bouncing aimlessly, it seems, from one disgruntled client to another in the hopes that this might be “the one sweet little ole lady” God has led me to bless. I’m sadly crying as I key this… as this has not been the case, no matter how much I want it to happen. :'( I have thanked Papa God for His continuing provision, however small it has become. I know in my heart that nothing is “too hard” for Him. In July, I desperately needed a new vehicle, I had no finances to even think of paying for it. It kept breaking down and did for the last time in the 113 degree heat on the Highway. But, then… God answered!! I only had $1000 left from the stimulus we received and a $250 trade in on my old ’96 Buick Roadmaster. Someone anonymously contributed $2,750 for the remainder. It’s a 2009 Buick Lucerne, and I later found out it was a trade-in from a friend from church. God had it ear-marked for me, because originally she was planning to trade it in in Wenatchee, but changed her mind.
    Yes Shawna… God is FAITHFUL. Thank you for your timely reminder. I wait with renewed hope in seeing how He WILL answer once again. Love to you dear friend!! <3

    1. My sweet friend, you are so right God has a plan for you! I just wrote a blog (hasn’t published yet) about being thankful for the bread crumbs. God can and often answers with giving us the “full loaf of bread” but what a bigger miracle it is to be “filled with bread crumbs” <3

      1. “Bread crumbs” are often everyday “Miracles”… He inhabits our praise… it unleashes His Spirit to do more than we can possibly imagine. We often limit God by our hopelessness… not seeing the bigger picture of what He’s trying to do in us. And the world is watching to see what we do during these “dark times”. Do we trust God in the hard times, or do we only praise and trust Him in the good times when things are going our way?

  3. Again here I am in tears as I read this. The coat was brand new and was there all along! Every good and perfect gift comes from above-did this not exemplify this very teaching? I love your tender heart and it makes so much sense that you paint birds. His eye is on the sparrow, how much more does he care for us? What an encouraging story, thanks for sharing.

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