I was tired yesterday. The past few days have been exhausting and the last thing I wanted to do was to go shopping. But groceries were needed and so off I went. I decided that while I was out I would also go to the local teacher supply store with the intent of just looking around. I needed to pick up some classroom décor and a few other items for my upcoming year of teaching in Guatemala but thought I would just check out the selection and get some prices for future reference. I was surprised to see a sign on the door that said they are going out of business in just a few weeks.
As I walked in, I was greeted by a lady who I later found out was the owner. She said, “Did you see our Facebook post this morning?” I said, “No, ma’am, I did not.” She replied, “When you get to the register, tell me you saw it.” I smiled and said, “OK.” I didn’t realize that by telling me to do that she was giving me 50% off of everything in the store. It was already marked down to 40% – but if you said you saw the post just for April Fool’s Day you got the additional 10% off. I walked out with an abundance of supplies – more than enough for my classroom and some to share – for pennies on the dollar.
As I chatted briefly with the owner, I explained to her what I was doing – transitioning for a year from church ministry to classroom ministry in Guatemala. And I found out she is a fellow Christ-follower. Her shop’s closing is a heart breaker for her – but she was delighted to know that the supplies she offered at the prices she gave were a huge blessing to me and will bless other teachers and kids in Guatemala as well. We both walked away from that encounter marveling at the goodness of God and His mysterious ways.
It was stressful. Last week a very young friend of mine had to have emergency surgery, his second operation in just a few weeks’ time. As I walked into the OR recovery room, I was very surprised to see a familiar face sitting at the monitoring station near his bed. It was the exact same nurse who had taken such marvelous care of him three weeks ago. I don’t know how many beds there are in the recovery area but it is a huge children’s hospital, ranked 5th overall in the US. So there are a lot! As it turns out, she was not the nurse assigned to his bed but was doing lunch coverage for all the nurses. And so it just so happened that she was the one to greet me as I came in.
Same event, different story… My little friend was in the ER prior to surgery, miserable and dwarfed by his huge bed. His exhausted Mom was doing her best to comfort him while we all waited to find out what was going to happen next. As we were hanging out, the very young doctor came in to check on him. She looked at me and asked, “Are you his grandma?” Considering that I am only 7 years older than his Mom, it provided us with a good laugh – which was so needed!
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” Psalm 107:43 (NLT)
“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” Psalm 68:19
“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)
Every detail of my life.
Of your life, too, if you are a follower of Jesus.
And He is at work.
Yes, you are one of billions.
And yet, He is big enough to know you intimately.
And small enough to meet your greatest need.
He knows how to direct your steps.
When you need a deep discount.
When you need a familiar face.
When you need a good laugh.
And He is always at work.
Even when you cannot see Him.
Even when you do not feel Him.
Even when the enemy is filling your head with lies.
And your heart is questioning His goodness.
Even then, He is at work in your situation.
Cheering you on.
Eagerly anticipating how you will choose obedience.
Choose to place your hope in Him.
He is a gentleman, though.
If you choose to power through on your own strength, He will let you.
If you choose to not obey, He will allow it.
If you choose to not access all of the amazing promises He has given, He will not force you.
But you will reap the consequences.
You will miss out on the blessing.
He will still love you.
But you will have trouble seeing it.
He will still be at work.
But you won’t acknowledge it.
And He will still offer peace beyond understanding and joy in every circumstance.
But you won’t feel it.
But even then, He will patiently wait.
Renewing His mercies every morning.
Holding open His arms, willing to carry you through.
Waiting for you to turn your face toward His.
He longs to be your everything.
Will you let Him?
The choice is yours alone.