GOD CARES ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS. Repeat this after me. GOD CARES ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS. Yesterday was a “get things done” day. I went from my boys’ school, to a women’s ministry meeting at church, to Dell Children’s Hospital to visit a patient, to IKEA, to Target, to Hobby Lobby, to HEB, to the gas station, back to HEB, and then home right in time for the bus to drop off my sweet loves. I was spending money here and there on parking, end of year teacher presents, end of year class parties, birthday party presents, groceries, and things for the church and our business. All good things, but things that tend to add up after a day of buying. My husband started his own company about 3 years ago but has now been working full time in his company for about 1 year. I believe it is miraculous that after only 1 year of operating this business full time God is providing for all of our needs, and I am only needing to work part time as a pediatric physical therapist. We are doing well, but we spend a lot of our time saying “Jesus, we are waiting on these checks to come in”, “We trust that you will get them to use right when we need them”, “Thank you Jesus that you know when all our bills are due”, “Thank you God that we have plenty of money.”
If anyone has ever experienced owning their own company can I please get an Amen? Amen! I come from generations of entrepreneurs and I don’t care how big or small your business is, these conversations happen a lot.
So, during my travels around the city yesterday, I literally stepped on a $100 bill while walking in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. The new $100 bills look fake to me so I didn’t even believe it was real until I picked it up. I thought “THIS IS AWESOME!” I mean $100 is a lot of money people, and my idea of luck is finding a penny not stuck with gum to the bottom of my shoe. I looked around the parking lot to see if there was anyone around or any sign of who it might belong to…nothing. As I started walking into Hobby Lobby I did what any rational 35 year old woman would do. I called my mom. She didn’t answer…OH THE ANGST. By the time I put my phone back into my purse I had to circle back around to the front of the building where the cashiers were and “enter” again so that it didn’t look like I didn’t turn the money in the first time I walked through the doors. Although it felt pretty crisp in my hands, this was not a $5 bill we are talking about. It was not mine to keep.
Thankfully the manager was standing right by the cashier. As we all “oohed and awed” over my discovery the manager simply said that they could not keep it. The best thing to do was for me to keep it, and if I wanted, I could give them my information so that if someone happened to call they would direct them to me.
I gave them my information and put the money in my pocket. I felt a little giddy and grown up all at the same time. I started to talk to the Lord about how this “find” could not have come at a better time. Earlier this morning while getting the boys ready for school, my husband and I had the above conversation with the Lord about checks while packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches using the last 4 pieces of bread. “Thank you Lord that we have plenty of money”, “Thank you Lord that you will send in those checks just when we need them.” I’m not sure when my prayers became daydreams of ways I could use the money, but I quickly whispered “Lord, this is your money. Show us how to use it.”
The day went by quickly without much thought about the $100 bill. My husband and I smirked a few times at the thought of it, but we decided to hold onto it for a few days and see what happened.
I greeted this morning with a cringe when I remembered that I needed to check something out in our bank account. Some of our automatic withdrawals went through that I forgotten about. Ugh. But I smirked again at what had happened yesterday.
I was out most of the day today volunteering at my boys’ school. I checked the mail when I got home and there it was. Like the golden wrapped chocolate bar in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Praise the Lord…a check had come in! Guess we didn’t need that $100 bill anymore.
Twenty minutes later I got a phone call from a random number. The woman on the other end was very pleasant but uneasy as she said that she got my number from Hobby Lobby. Here she was, the owner of the $100 bill. Crazy!
We were not far from each other at that moment and decided to meet at a nearby parking lot. I got in the car and started thanking the Lord for that $100 bill. Since I had not made plans for it, it was not hard to give back to its rightful owner. I began to think about the whole situation. How crazy it was that I had found it. How crazy it was that the owner actually called Hobby Lobby. How crazy it was that we were only a few minutes away from each other the moment she called. And all of the sudden I heard the Holy Spirt say “I could send down $100 bills from heaven like manna if you needed it. Just as easy as I can make sure your checks come in right when needed.” Tears began to come as I just sat with the fresh awe of how BIG our God is. He is SO BIG that even the little things do not go unnoticed to Him. And in a crowd of 10,000 he sees me. And in a city of 1 million, he stirred 2 hearts unknown to each other on each other’s behalf to show Himself as the God of provision. And in a HEB gas station parking lot, He loved to listen to 2 stories. One about losing the $100 bill needed to pay the light bill. Another about finding a $100 that was soon found to not be needed. For He is the God that cares for the birds of the sky and the flowers of the field. The same God who returns the lost $100 bill. The same God who showers manna from Heaven just to prove His character. Thank you for caring about the little things so that I may speak big things of your GREATNESS!
So there is this “thing” I have been struggling with lately. It is not branded in the physical “I want this but can’t” or “I wish I could do this but won’t” categories. It has to do with my heart. It has to do with my heart of obedience. My brother and sister in law were in town this last weekend and we joked about how even though we are “better” than we use to be, we still tend to avoid continuing certain conversations with God. The trouble is that the older I get and the more my relationship grows with the Lord, the more awake I am to the conversations I stop with Him.
There are always going to be those physical things that I will struggle with: greed, fear, marriage, parenting, comparison, busyness, body issues, etc… Those seem to be the ones that although attack at full force at the worst possible moments, do however for me at least, tend to cower down with a quick defensive strategy. Like my favorite game at Chuckie Cheese (Don’t shake your head. If you haven’t been your day is coming). The one where you stand ready with your padded mallet and wham down the heads of the bad guys who pop up from under the table. I know they are coming and am not surprised when they do. And when ready, I am able to quickly “wham” them by speaking truth, talking to the Lord, calling a friend for prayer, listening to worship music, or stopping a thought.
But then there are those slow brewing type heart issues. The ones where simply “whamming down” is by no means sufficient. These require true submission to the very heart of our Father. They are all hard, but these instantly revert me into my 5 year old self. I can actually hear my voice change in my thoughts. I become whiney, my eyes begin to roll, and body starts to squirm. I either go into an all-out whine fest whenever I think God is looking, or I huff and puff my way down the hall closing my door loud enough so that I know He can hear.
I usually don’t have a good reason for my reaction. I just simply DON’T WANT TO DO whatever it is He is asking me to do. And I want to be 5 years old again. I want to pout and cry and scream and kick. And I want to do it the very second I feel it coming. But I am not 5 years old anymore. I am 35 years old. And once again God shows me my own heart through parenting my own children.
I am not sure what your “thing” is in this particular season of your life. For me, it is writing. There I said it. I really don’t have a great reason, like normal. It is just hard. It has always been hard. I struggled with it in school during my elementary years. I was always in the lowest reading and writing groups. And even when I did finally get to the point in High School where I was a pretty average writer, I wouldn’t dare turn in a paper not proof read by one or both of my parents.
As I sat with this temper tantrum waiting to happen or happen again, I finally had the “Fine, you want to talk about it, let’s talk about it” discussion with the Lord. Seriously. And we have the audacity to ask ourselves why Adam and Eve sinned or why the Israelites complained after they were rescued from Egypt. My heart can be sheer ridiculousness at times.
I began to groan to the Lord about how hard writing was, that I wasn’t very good at it, and that I didn’t like it at all. And then I said it out loud “Lord, you do know that if you give me this gift of writing that it will never be good enough. I will never be good enough.”
I paused. My temper tantrum had run out of words. The awkward moment where I began to hear what I had been saying over the last few minutes happened. And as the words began to sink in, so my body began to sink in my chair.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of Habakkuk 2:1: “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch to see what He will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected.”
I knew that correction was needed, but I do not believe you would call what I was doing “standing my watch”. Like a child, I awaited my punishment. But I had asked Him a question. He responded.
I began to hear his “amar” over me. His spoken word to my heart.
I could feel Him saying that I was finally making sense. Would I expect Him to work in my life in any other way? That He is helping me get ready to get ready.
He reminded me of Moses in Exodus 3 and 4. When he stops at the burning bush in the wilderness and encounters the very voice and presence of God. For verses upon verses God speaks. But Moses could not begin to imagine how the Lord would not only use his present, but his very past. He begins to give excuses as to why he is not the best man for the job. In Exodus 4: 13 Moses says “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” In this verse the Hebrew word “Lord” is “donay”. It means Sovereign Lord, Supreme Authority. He is using the very word “Lord” to describe His majestic, all powerful, all knowing, rule over his life AND YET he cannot submit to that very aspect of God’s character.
God provides. He gets a bit angry. But through Moses’s brother Aaron, God makes a way for his 5 year old mind set to understand how He could accomplish what He had spoken.
In Luke 6:46 Jesus asks the multitude why do you call me “Lord, Lord and do not do the things which I say?” The Greek word for “Lord” in this passage is “kyrios” meaning God, Lord, Master, Supreme Authority.
Why do I call you Lord, Master, the God Who Owns It All, Adonai, my Supreme Authority when my thoughts and actions do not testify of knowing and believing what your authority means in my life?
Right after the passage in Luke 6:46, it goes straight to the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s servant. Now here is a man who understands authority. If the Roman culture taught him anything, it was the power of authority. In Luke 7:1-10, the centurion sends for Jesus and asks that He come to his house to heal a beloved servant. A little while later he sends word again to tell Jesus “Lord do not trouble Yourself for I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…for I also am a man placed under authority having soldiers under me. And I say one “Go” and he goes, and to another “Come” and he comes and to my servant “Do” this and he does it.” He is telling Jesus that I get it. You do not even have to come to my home to heal my friend. You just have to say the word and it will be done.
The centurion uses the same word “Lord” as spoke of in Luke 4:64. He says “Kyrios”, Lord, Master, Supreme Authority. He was a man who knew the power of authority. He was a man who knew how to submit under authority. He was a man who witnessed a healing.
In my cries to the Lord, I say “KYRIOS” “KYRIOS”, but I still ask for the Aarons in my life. I do not do what He tell me to do.
My father preached a sermon recently about the name “Adonai” for God. It means Master, Lord, Owner. He asked the question why would a God who calls Himself our Father also call Himself our Master? With great detail he gave 2 reasons for that question. One, so that God can be the one who establishes our value. Second, so that God can establish His covenant with us and allow for relationship. If He was not our Master, our Supreme Authority, our Adonai, our “Kyrios”, or “Donay”, he could not have protected, cherished, or saved.
So here is my confession of hope. That God loves to work in my weaknesses. And I am not afraid to be weak. That God loves to work in my foolishness. And I am not afraid to be wrong or even undignified. That God works as my Supreme Authority, as my Master so that He can set my value and save me for relationship with Him. And I am not afraid to be owned by the one who loves me. So here I am Lord. I choose to submit to you. My heart’s cry is to call you my Adonai. And do what it is that you tell me to do. Even if You tell me to write. For what better way would I know that it was all by Your hand. Lord, Lord…all for your glory.