I was reading in Jonah this morning, and something caught my attention. (I love when this happens, especially in a familiar story that I have read many times.) I kept seeing the phrase, "God prepared..."
Jonah was angry about God's mercy on Nineveh, and he had set up camp to see what would happen to the city. I guess He was hoping that they would go back on their repentance and cause the Lord's anger to be re-ignited. So he built a shelter to sit and watch for their judgment.
I think of how I have rebuked Jonah for his merciless attitude, but then I remember how I have most likely done the same thing. I have judged others based on their treatment of me, rather than on the fact that they, too, are loved by the same God who loves me.
Back to Jonah...something interesting happened. God prepared a plant to cover him. Then the next morning God prepared a worm to kill the plant. Finally, God prepared an east wind to blow on Jonah. Preparation.
There are blessings that we receive with joy, yet then are grieved in disappointment when those blessing are taken. We see God's hand in the giving part, yet we don't want to think of His hand being a part of the taking. He prepared these happenings to teach Jonah about His heart for people. He is at work in situations we may nonchalantly assume are just happening to us and for us.
I challenge you to not only try to see others from the Lord's perspective, but dare to see His hand at work in the smallest situations. He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose. Choose to see the "good" from His perspective, as well. It may be a lesson that you didn't know you needed to learn.
Father, You are a God who prepares and works. I want to be able to see Your hand in the situations of life that I would normally pass by without even thinking about it. Teach me Your ways, I pray. In Jesus' Name. Amen.