Today we went shopping to get my DD a few new items of clothing. We are not gift givers here - we're not one to go shopping and pick something new out and give it for Christmas or a birthday. Too many times we get it wrong, it doesn't fit, or it's the wrong size. It's become too practical to give a gift card, mail a check, or even give cash for them to get whatever they want or need, in their perfect size and color. So to go shopping with her was a treat.
Our original intent was to hit some of the thrift stores in the area, but then I saw a sale flier in my inbox from Kohl's - so I suggested we try there. My DH (working out of town today) suggested we check out Penney's too...but DD wanted to start at Kohl's...so off we went! We found deals galore! It was a real blessing, and she came in WAY below budget with a sack full of things. The shirts she got were very inexpensive, at least as low as what she'd pay for used shirts from the thrift stores.
She graciously kept saying "thank you" - and we know that she's so thankful for the clothing, but it honestly brought both DH and I joy and pleasure to be able to purchase them for her "just because".
It occurred to me that THAT'S just how God is in providing for our needs. Just as it says in Matthew 7:11 (and Luke 11:13)
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
God WANTS to give us good gifts! Just like most parents want to provide things for their kids (yes, even grown up kids who are fully capable of living on a budget and providing for their own needs); He also wants to provide for us. We just need to take the time to ask.
Sometimes we don't get what we ask for right away, and in the end we see that what He provided down the road was different - but often times better. I know that doesn't make sense when you're in the midst of a trial, illness, or disappointment, but I promise He will reveal Himself in that season of trouble, and will provide for you....just lean in HARD on Him, and trust Him with every. little. thing. by praying, taking time to read His word, and just ENJOYING His presence in the middle of it all.
I know, I know... it sounds too easy, too good to be true, and TOO hard at the same time! How can we let go of the trouble that makes us feel alive? The heart ache that reminds us we've loved? The pain that we identify with so much - no matter how badly it hurts?
Just try my friend. TRY. Breathe HIM in...each breath. Invite Him. And with each exhale, say "less of me", and mean it.
I just walked my dog around the back yard. Yeah, I know, I'm lazy - but truth be told she'll only p**p if she's walked on a leash, and at 9:45 pm it's still 82 degrees and about 85% humidity. I'm not walking her a mile around the neighborhood now and it was TOO hot earlier... but she still needed to do her business. So the back yard on a leash was it.
I opened the back door, and walked in to the yard to 2 fragrances: BBQ and flowers. I LOVE the smell of BBQ, but truth be known, my lungs do not. So it sets me to hacking. But the fragrance of those flowers was amazing. It was soothing and peaceful and lovely. I never knew 4 o'clocks were fragrant! Silly me!
With each breath, exhaling that fragrant BBQ pent up in my lungs became more necessary. As I stood by the flowers and took in the fragrance of beauty it cancelled out that BBQ beast wanting to send me into a coughing fit. In time, all I smelled was the flowers and my lungs were calmed down.
I think being in God's presence, taking Him in - NO - INVITING Him in - is like that. He calms the fury inside us. The ugly. When we are willing to give ourselves over to Him that way He DELIGHTS in us - and WITHIN us. He's there. We may not get the gifts we're wanting (healing, romance, finances, etc) but we're not alone in that. He will give us the good gifts, the BEST gifts - we just don't see it yet.
Rest in Him. Breathe Him in. Believe He desires to give you the best of things, for eternity.