Do you ever find yourself questioning the Lord? His timing? His purposes? His lack of moving in a way you want?
You’d think I wouldn’t. After all, I’ve known the Lord my entire life. I’ve witnessed the movement of His hand time and time again. I’ve read and re-read His Word many times. I know the promises He has made and how He has never broken a single one. I’ve been privy to His faithfulness, His goodness, His constancy, His mercy, His grace, His presence.
And yet, I find myself asking why? I find myself asking when? I find myself asking how long?
Many times I receive His gentle, patient answer (the one He has to give me again and again. And again…You do not need to know the answer to those questions, My Daughter. You just need to rest. You just need to let go and trust me.
I know that. I do. I really do. But, sometimes I think He realizes that I need more than just a heart-reminder to trust Him. He decides to show off, and I love Him the more for it! It’s as if He says, You need more than just my words today, Becky. You need to SEE what I’m doing and be reminded that I’ve got this. I’ve got this in the big stuff and in the small stuff. So, today, I’m going to SHOW you. And I’m going to DELIGHT in showing you!
Let me tell you a little story that spoke volumes to me…
This past Friday our homeschool group went on a field trip. We met at the Colorado State Capitol in downtown Denver. I’m not a big city-fan. I don’t really care to drive in the city, to navigate the one-way streets. I keep forgetting that I’m now an owner of a smart phone, so instead of asking Siri, I google-mapped directions to a couple of parking lots — the cheaper ones. I was ready to pay $8 tops.
Well, wouldn’t you know…googlemaps made a mistake. They wanted me to turn right (the wrong way) on a one-way street. I panicked for just a moment when I realized I’d have to navigate myself the rest of the way. The good news? I could see the Capitol building. The bad news? I couldn’t find any of those cheaper parking lots. At this point, I didn’t care.
All I kept thinking was, Just keep your eyes on that Capitol, Becky! You can do it. We will not be late. The tour guide won’t be rolling his eyes as you run in waving your hands in desperation, smoothing back your disheveled hair.
I may be exaggerating a bit, but I did have a moment of freak-out.
All that to say that when I found a parking lot right beside our destination (after traveling 8 blocks the wrong direction and circling back around), I was willing to pay anything. My $8 tops turned into $15. I think that’s highway robbery, but I was just relieved that we made it. I was also relieved that I figured out how to work the pay-for-my-parking-spot machine. Whew! Done.
Just after I swiped my credit card, while we were waiting for our receipt to spit out, a voice behind me said, “I hope you haven’t paid yet!”
Turns out there was a woman who had already paid her $15 fee (there were no hourly rates, just a flat rate to park for as long as needed). She had paid to park and didn’t need the spot for very long, willing and ready to hand off the parking pass and share her space.
Here’s what you need to understand…we are the recipients of generosity on a regular basis. The Lord knocks our socks off with His provision. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small. The person in front of us at Subway pays for our order, the new cashier at the movie theater can’t figure out how to refund our money after she accidentally charged us for the 3D show instead of the regular. Because it took a call to the manager and an extra 10 minutes, causing us to miss the previews, we were given the tickets for free. We actually tried to argue that we hadn’t missed any of the movie, but the manager would not hear of it. Once we were at Dairy Queen with gift cards (4 of our kids won some school contest). All 8 of us ordered, but there was a problem with the cash register. For some reason it would not register our gift cards. The manager tried and finally gave up. He said, “This must be your lucky day. I just can’t get it to work, so your ice cream’s on us.” We’ve been given cars (5, to be exact), furniture, athletic equipment, clothing, vacation homes to stay in, a late anniversary trip to Orlando.
We know the Lord’s hand of provision well.
So, it surprised me a bit that we had already paid for our parking ticket when this nice woman walked up to give us hers.
We thanked her and continued on our way. That was when I questioned the Lord’s timing. In fact, I remember telling Him, “That was a waste. Why didn’t you just slow us down by 30 seconds and let her give it to us?”
My ways are not your ways.
“Yeah, but it still feels like a waste.”
We entered the Capitol, went through security and found some friends from our group. I chatted briefly with a mom I met last year, she introduced me to a new family to our group, then I turned to greet some other families. As I walked away, the mom I met last year got my attention again…”Guess what? I pulled in right after you and was walking up to pay at the machine. A lady was getting into her car and gave me her parking space. She saved me $15!”
Here’s what you need to understand…The mom I was talking to has been in a pretty tough financial situation. She and her husband have both been out of work just trying to make ends meet, while they search for jobs.
I just grinned. His ways are not my ways, and it wasn’t a waste after all.
What the Lord taught me that day was that I didn’t need the $15, but He knew who did. Somehow He knew I needed to see that there was no waste. He knew I needed to be reminded that He provides for me and my family and that He provides for my friend and her family.
$15 seems like such a little thing, but it was His loving care of this family that was huge. And, it was His showing me, His more than just a heart-reminder to trust Him message to me that was huge!
We serve a BIG God. A big God who knows how to relate to us. A big God who makes Himself small, coming right to me at my level to show me who He is and what He does — just to remind me how big He is.