It's these small things that constantly catch me off guard. I want to be the kind of person who never doubts for a single moment that my God will come through. I don't want to be dumbfounded each time He is faithful to provide not only what I need, but that which I simply want as well. No, I do not believe that if I just have enough faith, I'll get a billion dollars or that new brand name such and such just because I want it, nor is this what I desire. I would rather (as I state so often) live my whole life relying totally on my God to provide what I need, than to lose sight of that because I possess so much.
With that said, once again, I do highly believe that He desires not only to provide what I need, but in many cases what I want as well. It is amazing to me, that when He does provide what I want, it always deepens my faith and draws me closer to His heart. That same heart that gave all He had in order to save me:-) And so, this is the story I have to tell...
Yesterday morning, I was in a foul mood. Yes, it's true. I try very hard not to allow such things to happen, because I truly believe there is never a cause to have a bad attitude about anything. I claim to have His joy running through me, no matter the situation, so if this is true, I never have an excuse to be awful...right? Ha! Oh, if this were only true all the time and I do strive to allow Him to work in me to make this a true statement. Unfortunately, there is nothing that puts me into a bad mood faster than dealing with money issues.
You see, I adore my life, I adore what I'm doing and I would rather do this than to have all the money in the world, but because of this, the enemy will often come in and cause something to go wrong here or there in this area and I will fold like a lawn chair! I mean, seriously?! My Father owns cattle on a thousand hills and I'm worried about money?!
Yet, never have I been hungry, never in my life have I been without all that I need. Yet, still I cave when I have to deal with these issues and allow myself a free card to act in such a way that does not bring Him glory. So, what's a girl to do?
Well, here's what I did. I became frustrated with the companies I was dealing with over the phone, my voice became more and more irritated the more I was transferred from this person to that person, and my head kept dropping into my hand as I rubbed my eyes and temples in...oh, dare I say it...a dramatic way. Ugh. I pride myself in the fact that I am not very often dramatic, yet there I was, sitting like a little girl who has just been told she can not have another cookie.
But, my "cookie" was actually a beautiful blue dress that I wanted more than any dress I've wanted in a long time. This particular dress was more expensive than I could afford normally, but I had just received a gift in the mail last week that would allow me to budget it in and I had been excited since then about this lovely dress. Now, because of this unexpected problem with my already tight budget, there was no way I'd be able to get it and it was all I could think about.
As I sat there across the table from A, I kept saying to the Lord, "But, I haven't had a new dress in almost three years, why can't I have it?!" and before He could answer, I was stubbornly thinking, "Oh, never mind! Just forget it! I know you're providing all that I need and I've lived without the dress for this long, I'll be fine." Oh boy, I was really being dramatic. Yep. I am ashamed.
Yet, He is patient and kind and loving. I can just picture Him smiling as I repeated some of these thoughts to A as I left the restaurant we'd been working at. She kindly asked if I was ok and I emphatically stated I was just fine, that the Lord had always come through in the past to provide what I needed and I knew (and I did) that He'd give all I needed for this month. "Just can't have what I want,
I stubbornly thought to myself.
Heading over to take care of the kiddos that afternoon, He began to whisper of His faithfulness to my heart. As I stood at the sink washing dishes, I heard Him clearly say, "Beloved, you are mine. I love you more than you can imagine and I want to give you the desires of your heart. Do you believe me?" "Yes." my heart whispered back. "Then, allow me to have the desire for this dress that has become something you are holding on to. Let there not be even the smallest thing in your soul that you hold onto more than Me." This pierced my heart through! The thought of a stupid dress having such a sway over me that I would have a terrible attitude toward my precious Jesus. What was I thinking?! "Jesus! Take it! I don't want it anymore if this is how the enemy uses it. I desire You above all else! Forgive my selfish heart."
I know this is a very tiny thing, yet to me, it was becoming huge! And then, I immediately thought of all the women and girls out there who would love just one beautiful dress to wear and here I was becoming upset because I would have to continue to wear the same dresses I'd worn for the past three years. Do you know how petty and selfish it looks as I type out the words? Yet, our God cares about the smallest of things.
While I stood over a sink of dishes, begging Him to forgive me and feeling His arms surround me, I can just picture Him smiling. He is after all a God of joy:-) I can picture Him grinning as, later that day, He lead A into a store she never shops for clothes in. I can picture Him smiling as she questioned why she was even there and then, gasping, grabbing something from off the rack wondering how in the world it got there. I can picture Him laughing with joy later that evening as I came home to find A with a surprise she could not wait to give me. I could hear Him whisper, " You are mine. I delight to give you that which your heart desires when you allow your whole heart to be mine alone," as I pulled out the beautiful blue dress that I had just released back to Him. The same dress that had originally been almost $100 dollars, which He had let A find for $15. And all I could do was just cry and then laugh and hug my sweet, beautiful friend who had listened to her God about such a tiny, insignificant thing. Holding the dress in my hands, not knowing what to say, she firmly said, "This dress is from Jesus to you, because He loves you and He's showing you that He cares about everything, every area of your life. He's telling you this season may be a bit tighter than others, but He is watching and faithful and will provide all that you need and want."
Yes, that is the truth. He cares about every area of my life. He is good, so good, far better than I'll ever be able to deserve. He has given me a life that I never could have dreamed of and though there may be times when I struggle, He proves over and over and over that if I will just trust Him with all that I am, He will give me the desires of my heart.
What is your "blue dress" today? Let me encourage you, whatever it is (and it may be so much bigger than any dress) give it back to Him. Let go of whatever it is that you are grasping so tightly and allow Him to exceed all the dreams you have for yourself. I am still learning this lesson, but there will never be a time that I don't put that dress on and think of my precious Jesus and all that He has done and is doing in my life.
He cares about it all, every single detail of our lives. Even a silly dress:-)