"We have to go inside!" my daughter exclaimed as we waited in the parking lot for grocery pickup. As far as she knew, we had to go inside to get groceries. She'd never experienced going to the store and receiving groceries without actually stepping foot into the storefront.
This was a new concept to her and was something that made absolutely no sense. She insisted that we needed to go in, despite my reassurance that we did not. However, as we waited and waited with no sign of the groceries heading our way, I too began to wonder if they in fact were bringing out our groceries as the app promised.
I called into the store to verify. And guess what the employee initially said? She said, "Oh, that order has gone out already..." I cocked my head to the side with a hint of an attitude. "Out to who?", I wondered as I sat in my grocery-less van.
"No ma'am, no one has given me anything," I respond. She proceeded to place me on hold while she figured out what happened. Now, I was a bit perturbed as I waited because by that time, my initially calm 9-month-old baby had started to cry. The wait caused him to become agitated, and his agitation led to my anxiety and frustration.
A momma having to wait to sooth her baby is like water backing up in rusty pipes. The pressure I felt from having to postpone my reaction to his cries caused this momma to nearly burst! So, I was, to say the least, frustrated.
Then, as I remined on hold, the call dropped. I let out a deep sigh. More frustration mounted. I called back into the store and the woman claimed she attempted to call me back (which I did not believe and that resulted in just a bit more frustration). She confirmed that an employee was on the way with my groceries.
So, here's the first lesson. You need to know that God does not always work in the way that you may expect him to. My daughter only knew of two ways in which groceries could be delivered: shopping in-person or home delivery. She didn't believe that groceries could be delivered by curbside ... but she was wrong. There was another way.
And so, maybe you've been praying for something to be delivered to you. And maybe you have an idea of how that delivery may come. But be mindful that you are not God and you do not know of all the many ways he operates. Do not assume to know more than God as my daughter incorrectly assumed she knew more than me. There are other methods of delivery that you know nothing about. That's lesson number one. Please allow me to continue.
I must admit that when the employee came to my car, I was not pleasant. I wasn't rude either, but I definitely did not offer a smile as normally would have. I gathered my groceries while under the increasing pressure of hearing my child cry. I was also a bit annoyed that the employee hesitated to load my groceries.
In times past, the associate loaded my groceries in the trunk without me even so much as having to step foot out of the car. So, a bit more frustration mounted. "Whatever!" I thought to myself as I packed my order into the back of my vehicle. I then hopped back into the van and drove away ...
And my son cried all the way back home. I couldn't help but to blame his cries on the unnecessary wait and mix-up at the store. If they would have delivered my order at the time the app promised, he wouldn't have gotten upset, and my anxiety wouldn't have shot through the roof. So, as I drove home, I was still a bit perturbed.
Oh, but there's more! When we finally arrive home, I notice that our lunch is missing. Now, honestly, getting lunch from them was one of the main reasons I ordered the groceries in the first place. So, at this point, I am no longer frustrated ... I am downright mad.
"Now, what are we going to eat for lunch!?", I ask myself as I hungrily toss the groceries in their rightful places ... still hearing the cries of my son in addition to my daughter's inquiries of lunch.
I call the store back and they insisted that the error was not their fault, but rather the shopper's fault, who was not an employee of the store. "Yeah, I get that, but the unnecessary wait WAS y'all's fault," I thought as the lady continued. More frustration mounted because I did not like how the store didn't hold themselves accountable for their part of my woes.
But I follow the employee's instructions to report the problem on the app, which just so happened to conveniently tell me that I needed to log-in to report the problem. I found it quite odd that the app had no problem taking my money without logging in but somehow needed a password and user ID to refund money.
Even more frustration piled into my core because I didn't know the password. It's my husband's account and I normally never need the password because it keeps me logged in. So, I had to call my husband ... only to receive no answer. This all happened while my son screams, while my daughter demands lunch, and while I make boring sandwiches that I wouldn't have had to make if my order was correct.
Frustrated doesn't quite say how I felt in the moment.
My husband was at work, so I understand why my call was unanswered. But that was the straw that broke the camel's back. "You're going to have to help me because I'm mad!" I said to God. Bear in mind that while I waited in the car for my groceries (before my son started to cry) I began composing what was going to be today's article.
Originally, today's article was going to be entitled "There are Other Ways", and it was going to be a short reading about God delivering answers to prayers in unexpected ways. But since my order was incomplete and not delivered as promised, I exclaimed to God, "I can't write about that now. The order wasn't right and that would be a terrible analogy of how you deliver to your people."
... but is it? The Holy Spirit ministered to me in the midst of my frustration. So, here's lesson number two.
Be grateful for what you're given.
Though he was crying, I thanked God for a healthy baby boy with the ability to communicate his frustration. Though it wasn't what I wanted or expected, I had lunch to feed myself and my child. Although I didn't like the wait, I was able to wait in the cool A/C of my vehicle... Shoot, I thank God that I have the vehicle! Not to mention I lack nothing financially while being a stay-at-home mom. I thank God for the means to purchase the very groceries I was upset about.
So, reader, hear me in this. Take heed to these two lessons. God is able to bring you blessings in ways that you are completely unaware of. He's an awesome God! If a grocery store has multiple ways to deliver goods, imagine how many ways God has to deliver goods to his people.
Yet, also realize that sometimes we don't receive all that we thought that we would. And although you may be upset about it, be grateful. If you counted your blessings and looked at the situation differently, then perhaps you'd be grateful for what you do have instead of being upset about what you don't have. Count your many blessings (Psalm 103:2) and be grateful.
That's all I have for you guys today. If it is the Lord's will. I'll see you next week.
Quin Arrington is a wife, mother of two children, and author of three books. Her literary collection includes both fictional and nonfictional works. Books can be purchased at the link listed below. Thank you for time and attention. God bless!