I like to stay hydrated, which usually means I can be seen doing the potty dance on the way out of the church sanctuary on Sundays after the hour long service. This past Sunday as I made my routine pit-stop at the restroom before heading to the car with the family, I realized there was no toilet paper in my stall …. of course, I realized this a little too late if ya know what I mean. I suppose that if I were a guy I could just do the little shake thing that they do, but alas, I am not…soooo
I started to look around for options…hmmm, no toilet seat covers to use as a plan B…. perhaps I would find a wad of tissues or a napkin in the abyss I like to call my purse…or maybe I could MacGyver something out of a few gum wrappers or the church bulletin (gasp!) would that be blashphemous? Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m sure God would understand.
As I looked up at my bag hanging from the hook, I was astonished to see a strip of toilet paper dangling over the door. “What on earth?!”, I thought to myself…”Where did that come from? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there a second ago.”
(Now, when I replay this incident in my mind it’s like there were beams of light shining down on that piece of white, saving-grace draped so beautifully within my reach and you could even hear a heavenly choir singing Handel’s Messiah.)
“Haaaaaallelujah! Haaaaalelujah! Hallelujah, hallelujah, halee-ee-lu-jah!”
I shouted to the angelic footsteps I had just heard walk past my stall to the sink, “Wow! Thank you! How did you know I needed that?!” The heavenly host’s reply: “Oh! Excuse me, I didn’t know anybody was in there, I was just putting it on the door so other ladies would see it as a warning that there was no TP in there.”
Well, I just laughed!
Now I feel like I need to back this story up for a minute to earlier that morning when our worship leader introduced a beautiful new song that she wrote. It was about laying things down and letting go and surrendering whatever we were struggling with, knowing that God can help us if we let Him.
It was a powerful song and I remember singing it and telling God that I trust that He has a plan and that I will move over and let Him drive because He knows where we are going and I often don’t.
It seems that every so often I find myself on a search. Occasionally, a rather obsessive search. Usually it is a search for some type of material possession that I’m convinced will change my life once I find that perfect one thing I’m searching for and acquire it.
Sometimes it’s a car, or the perfect pair of jeans or a specific type of furniture or an appliance like a fridge, or a brand new washing machine or a juicer that will make me healthy….and let me tell ya, I’ve learned that in order for a juicer to make you healthy, you actually have to juice healthy things and then DRINK them….and no, juicing a grilled cheese sandwich does not make it healthy….and it kinda takes the fun out of eating it.
But alas, I digress…
So this latest search that has consumed me over the past few weeks has been trying to find the perfect house to live in when the lease on our townhouse is up. I know we need a little bit more space, but not too much…and it HAS to have a picket fence! I love picket fences! Oh and a porch swing too. But, should we rent another year or should we buy? Should we stay in our neighborhood or find a different one? What about schools? These endless thoughts and questions have been spinning around my ferris-wheel-mind and making me dizzy! I know, I know, first world probs.
So back to that Sunday in the bathroom after church, I really think God was reminding me that He KNOWS my EVERY need…even the small and ever-so-personal needs…. like a few sheets of toilet paper when I’m left hanging out to dry in the ladies room.
He cares for me and He always provides….ALWAYS on time. He has never let me down. He has ALWAYS come through and has orchestrated plans for me in ways that I could have NEVER imagined….when I have invited Him in to help.
So I’m going to continue (I say “continue” because this surrendering thing is a process and sometimes I find myself being a bit of a backseat driver and telling God where we need to go. I continually need to move out of my own way because I sometimes forget that I’ve asked God to drive) giving up this search over to Him, knowing that His plan is always better than any plan that I could dream up on my own.
So all of this reminds me of a Scripture in Matthew about birds and flowers. I love how it’s worded in the Message translation:
“…Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.
People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:26-34 (MSG)
Isn’t that wonderful?
I keep hearing a song on the country radio station. It goes something like this:
“It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want. I’ve got everything I need and nothing that I don’t.”
Whenever I hear that song it reminds me to be content wherever I am and not to be burdened by the pursuit of the “things I think I want”. I must need to be reminded of that a lot because that song is on every time I turn on the radio.
I want to fix my eyes on God and what He has already given me and stop fixating on the things I think I’m lacking. I have a roof over my head which is more than a lot of people do and family and friends who love me….and the gift of toilet paper like manna from heaven.