And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, to those who have been called according to his purposes. (Rom 8:28 NIV)
A couple of weeks ago I talked about how the shade had been removed from the courtyard where I write. Now I can’t drink my coffee in the courtyard because of the hot African sun.
However, God is very inventive and He is using even denuded trees for my good. I don’t like drinking coffee at my computer – a break is meant to be a break! I’ve had to get creative. In the corner, a new pharmacy has opened up and they have a little coffee nook tucked away in the back. Last week I decided to explore while drinking my coffee and walking. I noticed they sold healthy-looking rusks in packs of four so I bought a pack and asked if I could drink my coffee and eat a rusk at their little counter. They were very friendly and welcoming and said I could come any time. I chatted to the lady at the till and told her why I was looking for a place to sit.
Today I thought I’d buy some of their cappuccino and drink it with my breakfast bar. Again, I was met with a very friendly reception. The cappuccino was good and the cheapest I’ve come across in a while.
As I was leaving, I heard the same cashier talking about me to another customer. “She says she’s a blogger.”
I felt encouraged to write a blog today which I hadn’t been planning. I felt my purpose had been authenticated.
So what good has God wrought from denuded trees? He has forced me to become more sociable, make connections with people and feel more positive about my writing.
I am reminded of how my son came to go on a missions trip to a closed country. I had been helping at an Alpha course about four years ago. I don’t like driving at night anymore, so my husband would drop me. My son, who went to a different church, was having battery problems. Twice he’d been stranded because his car wouldn’t start. He said it needed a long run and I suggested he take and fetch me from our church to charge the battery. While he waited for our group to finish, he found a pamphlet about an upcoming short-term missions trip. It included ministry through winter sports. Being a sport scientist, he was interested and made inquiries. Turns out they were praying for a man to join the team of ladies that were going. The problem was, there wasn’t enough time for a passport renewal and under ordinary circumstances, his passport would have expired. However, we had had an armed robbery some time previously during which we had been forced to open our safe. Beside jewellery, all our passports had been taken. We had all had to renew our passports. If it hadn’t been for that robbery, my son would never have gone on the mission. As a result of that missions trip, one of the ladies in the team has become a full time missionary in that closed country.
God can use negative, and even traumatic events like armed robbery for good.
As for me, I am learning to be more outgoing, connecting with people and enjoying my coffee.