Friday, January 25, 2013

Every Detail

Small answers to prayer. There were two this morning. Both were seemingly insignificant. Both were small enough to forget. Both, though, showed Your care for the small details of my life. I don’t want to forget that, so I’m journaling them here so I can be reminded later.

I went to bed last night knowing that we had a forecast for overnight snow starting around 3am.  I'm still a little shell-shocked from my 180 on black ice last year.  When I can take my time, it's unnerving enough.  When pressured to get my child to school on time... yikes!  So I drifted off to sleep last night asking that the snow hold off
just until I got my daughter safely to school. When I awoke this morning, I peered through the blinds above my bed.  No fresh snow! And not only did I get my daughter to school on clear roads, but the snow didn't start falling until after I pulled back into our drive.  The big, fluffy flakes started gently falling as I sat in my driveway reading Your word.  Beautiful!  And the timing was oh so cool!

That wasn't the only place I saw You this morning, though. As I drove around Starbucks, intending to take the new step of adding Your name and some scripture to my “Drive-thru Difference” note, I wasn't sure I was actually going to have the courage to go through with it.  So... I silently asked for a certain barista – one that has been especially encouraging. When I pulled around to the window, still hesitating over the note in my shaking hand, there she was! I nervously smiled as I paid for the car behind me and handed over the note.  The barista smiled, promised to give it to the car behind me and told me "God Bless" as I prepared to drive away.  A small detail.  A little encouragement.  Another step forward. :)

And now I sit reflecting… and I remember the scripture that struck me just a few days ago:

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” – Psalm 37:23

You delight in every detail of my life! Wow. Thank you, Daddy, for Your whisper this morning! Thank you for showing up in the small details that shouldn’t even matter to a God who has the universe to run!

On those days when the details of my life don’t seem to be working out the way I want them to, I want to remember times like this morning... to know You ARE in the details... You CARE about the details. So if they are not what I think they should be, it's probably either
that I’ve forgotten to bring them to You… or… I just can’t see the bigger picture yet. And... it's okay if I can’t see or understand... as long as I remember that You are God; You are there; and You do care -- right down to the barista! :)


P.S.  For the curious... the note I penned for the Drive-Thru Difference this morning read, "You are loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3  Isaiah 55:3)" Go ahead... click on the links... look it up... and know you are loved with an everlasting love... by a God who delights in every detail of your life! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not So Hot After All....

Drive-Thru Difference.  A local Christian radio station has been promoting making a “drive-thru difference” by paying for the car in line behind you.  I’ve done it a few times during my morning Starbucks stop, getting more bold as time goes on.  The first couple of times, I simply paid for it.  After a few times, though, the drive-thru worker asked if I had anything I wanted to give the car behind me.  I stuttered a few moments and then muttered something about “Tell them... ‘Have a great day.'"  The next time I was ready and asked the barista to tell the woman behind me “I hope this is a good start to a great week.”   

This morning as I drove towards Starbucks, I thought about what I wanted to say.  It’s a brutally cold morning out there, so I quickly came up with “Hope this helps warm your morning.”  This time, rather than just telling the barista, I took the time to write it out on a post-it note.  I really considered adding a “—God” to the bottom of the note, but at the last minute decided not to.  What if something about that should offend them/turn them off to the blessing I was trying to give?  I handed my note to the barista who smiled and exclaimed “How sweet!  We love getting to see the reactions on these.”  I drove away with my hot caramel apple cider feeling pretty good about the whole thing.  I patted myself on the back for getting more bold and told myself one small step at a time.  I would be even more bold next time….

That is, I felt pretty good until I pulled in my driveway and sat in the car with my hot drink to spend some time in Bible study.  I use two, completely unrelated devotionals each morning.  The first one this morning:

"Paul was not ashamed because his message was the gospel of Christ, the Good News.  It had life-changing power, and it was for everyone.  When you are tempted to be ashamed, remember what the Good News is all about.  If you focus on God and on what God is doing in the world rather than on your own inadequacy, you won’t be ashamed or embarrassed."  The study then referenced Romans 1:16

Ouch.  Okay.  Moving on to the second devotional.  The first sentence in this longer, more in-depth devotional?  From II Timothy 2:15:

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." 

I then read it in the NLT:

"Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.  Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth."

Ugh.  As I sat and thought about it I realized…  If the mention of God kept the individual behind me from receiving a temporary blessing in their morning, then what was the loss?  The blessing I offered was merely a temporary smile on a cold morning.  There was nothing any more permanent than that.  And her reaction would’ve been her choice. On the other hand, if the mention of God, along with my expression of His love, might have pointed them to something deeper?  Ugh.  That missed blessing, of much greater import, was my fault.  My choice.  Yeah…  I’ve still got some work to do!  Seems the Drive-Thru Difference... just may be a difference in ME!