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Save me a space...

I’m on the verge of being late to a meeting at church. This isn’t that unusual because I have an unhealthy compulsion to try to fit something into every second of the day. As my car turns into the carpark at the back of the church I am met with a most unwelcome sight; cars. Lots of them. Just enough to completely fill the car park. Or so I thought, but then I see it! Right by the church, nestled between two cars, both of which couldn’t have been parked closer to the white lines had their drivers taken painstaking care to try to make it as hard as possible for me to park.

I look around hoping for a more convenient parking space to magically appear out of thin air, but alas, none appears. So I carefully slot my car between the two of them, all the while bemoaning the parking of the adjacent cars (parking which let’s face it is better than my own often is). yet as I slide myself out of the door like Indiana Jones escaping from some cursed tomb, something occurs to me. The car park was full. Others had entered hoping to find somewhere to leave their car and left disappointed. This parking space had only remained available because of the bad parking of its neighbouring vehicles. The fact that it was difficult and inconvenient to park here was the very reason that it was available. If the cars either side of me had left plenty of room, someone else would have parked here before I ever even entered the car park. The things which seemed to be in the way of me receiving a blessing were actually the means by which the blessing had been given to me.

My complaints quickly turned to thanks. My circumstance hadn’t changed but my outlook had. My thoughts then began to race. This wasn’t an isolated incident, but the latest occurrence in a continuing trend. How often God had used what I had seen as a blight in order to provide good things for me (note that that is not to say that God causes ill circumstances nor is it an inditement supporting bad parking). How many closed doors have I mourned over whilst God was using them to lead me further down the corridor to a door he always planned to open for me, behind which was everything that I needed? How many of my failures has He allowed so that I could see that I needed His help? How many silent miles have I walked longing for Him to tell me the directions only to find that He had kept me going the right way all along? And so today I will try to thank God for His surprising gifts; for bad parking and closed doors, for repeated failures and silent walks, both when I see what He’s doing and when I don’t, trusting that He is good – all of the time.

Originally written for the August 2022 ABC Newsletter

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