Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Friday, November 28, 2008

Give Thanks

I know it may be a bit cliche to be posting a thankful post on the day after Thanksgiving, but I've got a lot to be thankful for - and I've been thinking about thankfulness a lot lately so bare with me while I ramble.

Obviously, I'm thankful that God has called me according to His will and purpose, has chosen to bless me with my family - yes, even the members that typically drive me bonkers - but beyond the other obvious things like my car, home, food, clothes, and friends, I am thankful for my job. Especially today, my job. You see, as of January 1st I will no longer have a job. The small bookstore I work for has been a huge blessing to me. It has allowed me to spend a lot of time reading books, seeing what new trends are hitting the body of Christ; I have been free to share my faith with little risk of looking like a wacko because most of the people that come into the store are professing Christians. Even more than that I have had the distinct honor of serving people. I cannot begin to tell you how it does my heart good to help a customer track down just the right Bible or the cd that contains a song that they heard on the way to their father's funeral but they only remember 2 lines out of it. At times I think I benefit more from it than the customers do.

The store has been struggling for a long time now. It would be easy to blame it on the economy as of late, but the truth is things have been in a decline for much longer than that. We could blame it on the lack of local advertising (we're a small chain and most of the branches are in southern Illinois) or the post office not delivering sales fliers in a timely manner or even the fickleness of some customers who never come back the first time we don't have some obscure (often heretical) author in stock. At times I have felt these very things because they are all true, but over the past few months as I've seen my fellow employees do everything they can to spread word about the store I've become more and more aware of just how blessed we are.

I believe God brought each of us to that store for this time period, we've developed lovely friendships that will continue on after we close our doors, and I have always been confident that we would remain open until the day God would have us move on. Though we may not understand why He is closing the store, I take comfort in knowing that this is an act of grace, mercy, and wisdom on His part. Far be it from me to desire to remain when He would have me leave. Far be it from us all.

And so as we prepare the store for the sale and as hours get cut I'm going to rejoice. This is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a new and exciting time period in our lives - and I am determined to see it as that. Is there some sadness? Absolutely. Is the rest of the chain in danger of closing? Sadly, yes - which means a lot more people are working with a cloud over their head as we have been and are in need of prayer. Is it a frightening not having a job? No doubt about it, but more than anything I am excited to see how God is going to move in our lives as we move on from the store. I'm excited to see God use this as a way of sanctifying and strengthening us, I'm excited to see how God is going to use this sad time for our good and His glory. And so I am thankful today, and will remain thankful so long as God is still Lord over all.