"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Ps. 118:29 NIV).

When you choose to visit a hot climate in the midst of their summer season, the value of air conditioning becomes all apparent. In our recent January/February trip to Australia, we found that air conditioning units were so commonplace that I mostly didn't notice they were there. If I had made the effort to listen, I might have heard their background "hum", but the sound was so ordinary that it didn't warrant my attention, and you most certainly wouldn't have heard me thanking them for doing their job that I wasn't even noticing they were doing!

There were a couple of times, however, when I did take notice of the air conditioner's hum: When the units were not functioning as they were supposed to. Once, for example, the unit actually began to blow hot air into the room; and you can believe me when I say that unit immediately came onto our radar! It was, after all, already 35-40 degrees outside, and even hotter in the hotel room! We fussed and fiddled to no avail, and we eventually called the hotel manager.

It all made me think about God's blessings and His workings around us. Just like the air conditioning units were prevalent in Australia, God's handicraft is all around us. The Bible teaches that He is always at work: "In his defense Jesus said to them, 'My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.'" (John 5:17 NIV). But just like the quiet hum of the air conditioner was so commonplace that I didn't notice it, do we understand the Truth that God is always at His work? Do we see God at work in our lives? Do we recognize the effect of this work?

I am afraid that I, for one, usually do not. Especially in the good times. In fact, it isn't until bad circumstances arise that I generally even think about God's blessings and the fact that He is always at work around us; and then, just like that air conditioner unit blowing hot air got my full attention, it is in the midst of the hard times that I begin to look for God's hand in my situation.

But remember that I couldn't find the problem with the malfunctioning unit. In the same way, I generally don't see God at work in the midst of my troubles, either! I don't see it, of course, because I am looking for a specific resolution to my problem that I have defined, and when I don't see what I am looking for, I conclude that God isn't there..

Take my current "hot-blowing-air-conditioning-unit", for example: God helped us to understand it was time to think about moving, and our house is currently on the market. To date, however, not a single person has come by to see it. It is as if the house is invisible. I see the solution: People start coming by to see my house, and then my house sells! But is this God's solution? Apparently not, because it isn't happening. As a good friend told me last night, and words seemed to me to be coming straight from God through her mouth: "Well then, the house you are to move into next is not yet available!"

Something else also happened yesterday as well. There has been escalating tension between my neighbour and his neighbour on the other side. I have been feeling frustrated because there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to help; yet yesterday God opened a door. Could it be that God isn't quite ready for us to move? Do we, perhaps, still have a role to play in our neighbourhood?

No, the fact that our house is not yet sold doesn't mean that God has somehow misplaced us and the house that He told us to put on the market. Not at all. What it means is that God is, indeed, busy at work in the background, preparing the way not only for the best house to come available for us to buy, but also perhaps using us in a small way to accomplish what we've been praying for: Reconciliation between our neighbours.

It's sad that it takes a broken air conditioning unit to help us appreciate the air conditioning in Australia. It's even sadder that it takes the troubles of life to make us realize that God is, indeed, not only in control, but busily working, not only for our own personal good, but for the greater good as well...

Anyone interested in a beautiful house in a lovely country setting? I have one for sale...But if God isn't quite finished with me here yet, then I happily submit to His will and wait somewhat patiently for His will to be accomplished...

Oh, and perhaps, even during the good times, it might be a good idea to notice "the hum of the air conditioner"...to see where God is at work around us, and give Him thanks!

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.