I remember listening to Beth Moore tell about a time she asked God to just delight her and how He responded to her request. I’d never really thought about asking God to do something like that for me. It seemed a little selfish, almost. But as I listened to her tell the story, something deep inside me longed for the same experience. The next morning during my quiet time with my Father, I asked Him if He would consider delighting me. I was a little timid in my request; not really sure about what I was doing. I’m not really sure why I struggled with asking. Seriously, I never seemed to struggle with all the other things I asked Him for.
In my mind, I thought it could take days; maybe weeks before God would answer, so I settled in for the wait. I wondered how He might respond…maybe a new car with a big bow on top in my driveway. Yes, I did actually consider that. Act appalled if you want, but I bet a lot of you would have done the same thing, or something similar. Maybe He would provide a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Okay, it’s going to get a little weird here, but hang with me. As I was walking to my laundry room, I saw a little fox that had a den near our house trot across the front yard. Something inside me caused me to take notice, but I had seen him so many times before that I dismissed it and keep on with what I was doing.
On my second trip to the laundry room, just minutes later, I saw my fox again, but this time he had a rabbit in his mouth, and he was headed home. All of a sudden, my heart almost burst with delight. I knew that God intended for it to be my delight. There is no other explanation for my reaction because under normal circumstances, I would have run into the yard and yelled, “Drop it, right now!”
As I stood there in complete delight, but a little confused as to why I was delighted, God spoke directly into my heart. “Do you see that rabbit? That is my provision for one small creature in my creation. If I am attentive to such small creatures, how much more will I watch over my precious children whom I love?”
The car with the bow would have made me happy, but my Father pausing to communicate His unfailing love to me filled me with pure, unadulterated joy that caused me to burst forth with praise and gratitude. All I could say over and over was, “Who is there like You, God?”
I have never found anything that delights me more than when my Father communicates Himself to my heart. God never intended for us to simply know who He is. No, He intended for us to know Him, to encounter Him, to enjoy His presence, and to delight in Him. And when we delight in our God, He in turn delights in us!
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” And believe it or not, He will change your desires! 1 Kings 8:23
If you’ve never asked God to delight you…you really should.
This past week was a really hard one for our family. On Wednesday, all four kids, Philip, and I gathered at our Vet’s office to love on and say goodbye to Mollie, our blonde lab. It was gut wrenching because she was one of us, a full-fledged member of the family. Truth is, we never got around to telling her she was a dog. Maybe that is because we never really saw her as anything but a member of the family. I’m very sure some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
After we brought her home and buried her, we began to try to adjust to the emptiness that was so prevalent in our house. It wasn’t going very well. Hunter, our black lab, knew something was wrong. She kept looking for Mollie, but as time passed, she began to mope and stop eating. I cried – a lot. Two children went back to college. The house became emptier. The other two children struggled along with me.
One afternoon, Dalton finally blurted out what we were all feeling, “Why did God take her? I just don’t understand what purpose this is going to serve.” Those words cut through my heart.
Those kinds of questions are tough ones to answer, especially when we are hurting, too. I shared with him what I had been clinging to all day long: “God I don’t understand. I don’t know what You are doing, but I do know who You are.”
As we sat there, God began to gently show us how involved He had been in the whole unfolding of events and how He had intervened along the way to cushion the blow. For example, the week before Christmas Mollie suddenly quit eating, drinking, and then could barely move. The veterinarian believed that there was some type of spinal injury. We were presented with the terrible choice of spending thousands of dollars with a specialist and putting her to sleep. I knew that we were not in a position financially to spend that kind of money, but at the same time, I could not make the other choice either. We left her at the vet’s office in order to start her on a heavy dose of steroids to see how she would respond. I started praying, “God, please don’t make me choose.”
Mollie made a miraculous recovery and seemed to be on the road to complete healing. We made it through Christmas and New Years. Unfortunately, the next Sunday all the symptoms came back. She was started back on the steroids, and we were once again told what our options would be. Again, I begged God not to make me choose. When we got her home, she had several seizures. The last one left her unresponsive. I slept on the floor beside her that night, crying and asking for a miracle but realizing that God had already answered my first prayer. I would not have to choose between finances and helping my beloved Mollie.
In the end, God said “no” to one prayer but “yes” to another. He demonstrated His love toward me by removing a choice that would have ripped my heart out. As Dalton and I sat there, God gently reminded us of one more thing that He had done out of His great love for us – He allowed her to be with us for one more Christmas. He spared us from having to endure the pain of losing her on Christmas. We had never even thought to ask for that.
There are no coincidences in my life. I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that everything that happens in my life is under the watchful eye of my Father, and I am convinced that nothing touches my life without His permission. Both Dalton and I now recognize that when the hurtful experiences come, we need to stop and look for God’s love and His grace. It’s there. It is always there. We just need to look…just like we look for parking spaces!
One final thought. God even used Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin to remind Dalton and me of one more of His blessings. I just need to change one word because I don’t see myself as lucky…”How blessed am I to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
New Year’s night I sat by my computer feeling like I might explode as I waited for Parkingspacefaith.com to appear. It reminded me of how I used to feel on Christmas morning when I was a little girl. My three brothers and I would have to wait in the hallway while my Dad tortured us by taking what seemed like hours to light the fire in our den and get the camera ready. My heart would race and none of us could sit still. When Dad would finally give the okay, we would burst through the door to see what Santa had brought. What great memories!
As I sat waiting for Ken to give us the okay, I began to think back over the journey that brought us to that moment. It was neat to see all the little things that God had orchestrated. From the first tugging to do something for His glory to the realization of what He was actually calling us to do. I remember the overwhelmingly confused feeling when I felt the pull to build a website. I had no idea how to go about building a website. For crying out loud, I am the one who is usually saying mean and hateful things to my computer because it is not cooperating with me. I have even seriously considered throwing it out of the window. Then to complicate things further, Carolyn, Grace, and Lisa by their own admission were more computer illiterate than I was!
Isn’t that just like God? He gives a seemingly impossible task – one that is not within our range of ability and then He waits for us to surrender it to Him completely. I guess He knows that if it were within our realm of capability, we would take off on our own and completely mess things up. Though things did not instantly fall into place, like I wanted, God began working out every little detail. He sent the right people, with the right gifts, at the right time. He left no doubt that it was His hand.
You know, left to my own plan, I would have never picked a website as my avenue for serving my Heavenly Father. Nope, I would have picked something in keeping with my talents, like, well…uh, okay so let’s move on.
Here’s the point; God often calls us to “God sized” tasks. The problem is, we often dismiss them because they are beyond our ability, not in our area of expertise, or they aren’t in our area of “giftedness”. Oh yeah, and there is usually a little issue of time…not enough of it. Please, all of these I consider to be valid arguments, and make no mistake, I have used them all. However, I don’t think God finds them acceptable, at least He hasn’t for me.
So, as I sat there in front of my computer I mused over how freeing it actually was to be called to a task that I was incapable of doing because really, the only thing God had required of me was a willing heart. He did the rest. Now that I think about it, Moses didn’t have the expertise or ability to part the Red Sea, but it parted. Peter was not a gifted teacher nor did he possess a superior intellect, but Christ used him to build His church. And, I guess if a few fishes and loaves can be multiplied to feed thousands, God is quite capable of multiplying our time in order to fit His purpose into our schedule. By the way, there is the option of eliminating some things from our schedule in order to have more room for God’s plan for our lives.
I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the only one I ever made was “to not make a New Year’s resolution.” I am proud to say that over the years I have stuck to it. Now I think maybe it’s time to break my old standing New Year’s resolution by making one for 2013. Some of you might want to join me. For 2013, I resolve to embrace the “God size” tasks more willingly. Whether it involves working through me to do something for His glory or working in me to become something for His glory, I know that it is God who will “equip me in every good thing to do His will.” (Hebrews 13:21)
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