All things work together for good according to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Have you ever given something up for God or allowed Him to take something away gracefully knowing that He who is able and is in control, has your best interest in mind. Isn't it so hard to believe that when you're in the midst of something that you have had to give up or had taken away. I think we all watched in great awe of how Jordan and Patience Leino gave up their son gracefully trusting that God who is able to heal knew what was best.
In a much minor but significant way, God has reminded me that so often if we will give something up we so badly want to hang onto, He will give us something so much greater. As some of you know about a month ago the night we got home from a long trip at 2am in the morning, I let our cat out, not sure how much he had gotten to be out while we were gone, and he got attacked by a dog and we had to put him to sleep the next day.
We had only had this cat for about a year, but he was the best pet. He loved the kids and slept at the foot of my bed or one of the kids beds every night. He would even wake us up if something was wrong with one of the kids. Anyway, I just didn't really understand why God had to take him away. I know there are so many things so much more important, but I really missed taking care of my cat and all the things you get use to doing with a pet. A few days after we had to put him to sleep, I called a friend to ask if she knew anyone who had any kittens because the kids and I were really wanting to get another one. She said her sister-in-law had a cat that had just had kittens and would be getting rid of them in a few weeks.
Well, we went over and visited her and played with her sweet kittens and planned to come back in a few weeks. Now I had met this lady before. She had had two kids at that time around the same ages as my two. A couple of years later we both had had a third and fourth about the same time, so we had 4 kids all within 3 months of each other in age. The first time I met her what I saw was a very attractive put together woman who seemed to have it all together, and her kids seemed very sweet and obedient. I thought, "I will have absolutely nothing in common with this woman, as my boys ran around wrestling and acting... well like boys...
There were many times her niece (our babysitter) would talk about how her aunt was at the end of her rope and how we should get together. There was always the thought of calling her, but I was controlled by my first impression, not what I know now was the Holy Spirit putting something on my heart to do.
From the first phone call asking about the cats... it was like calling an old friend. We talked about so many things without ever feeling like we were keeping the other one on the phone. Maybe we were so starved for adult conversation dealing with 4 kids, ages 6,5,3, and 2 all day long and homeschooling. We have since gotten our kids together many times, and they just click. I have had many friends as an adult, but none that just clicked like this. She is so laid back like me, and we struggle with so many of the same things, and our kids played great together (meaning they played and fought and played again like brother and sister).
A few days ago as I was thanking God for this friendship, and I began to think through that I would never had gotten to know this person if my cat had not been killed and her cat had not had kittens, and how God orchestrated the perfect scenario to bring us together. Now if God will go to the extent of bringing all this about to give me a friend, and maybe her a friend also, even when I ignored His attempt to get me to call her a year or two ago, how much more does He want to take all the good things in our lives and make them great. How much more does He want to orchestrate the perfect scenario to reach that one lost person or the millions who have never heard the gospel.
So next time when things don't seem to make sense, or maybe God has taken something away, or is asking you to give something up that is hard to let go of, don't let Satan get a foot hold by complaining or getting angry or getting depressed because things don't seem to be working out how you planned or wanted. Trust that God who knows all things, who is kind and loving and who only wants to bring people to himself, knows what is best. He may be wanting to give you something so awesome you can't even imagine, you just have to give something up to get what is best.
...Of course if you listen to Him in the first place He may not have to take something away to get your attention. :-)