Psalm 92:4 (NIV)
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Psalm 96:8 (NIV)
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
Have you ever seen something so pretty, that with just one look, you knew that you couldn’t live without it? Well it happened to me a few years back. What’s so interesting about this, is that I have tried to train myself not to get too worked up or excited over material things. I have learned from experience that they only give temporary satisfaction. However, on this particular day the lure was much too strong. My whole thought process regarding the pleasures of material things being too fleeting, went flying straight out of the window.
This is how it all got started; The company that I work for, offers quarterly prizes for those who qualify for them. One year they offered us the opportunity to acquire a complete set of dishes. All throughout the year you could earn a place setting every quarter until you had acquired the complete set. I absolutely fell in love with the dishes that they were offering. They had a colorful band that went around the outer edges of each item in the place setting, and on the banding were the words; Belief, Courage, Commitment, and Enthusiasm. I thought that these words would be the perfect thing to see each morning, to get my day off to a well motivated start. I thought they would send a positive message each time I ate on my pretty little plates.
After the contest was finally over, I realized that there were several pieces that I still needed to complete my set. The more I thought about not having all eight place settings, the more obsessed I became with wanting to find them.
The thought came to mind, that maybe there were ladies in my area that worked for the same company that I did, that had extras and they wouldn’t mind me purchasing one or two sets from them.
I called several people that I knew, and no one had extra place settings to spare. I even called people in other towns. My heart was broken! I wanted a complete set of those pretty plates and it simply did not seem like it was going to happen. I finally stopped my frantic search for the plates and all of the matching pieces.
One day months later, the UPS driver that delivered to me each week, accidentally left my box of products at another lady’s house. It just so happened that she lived in my neighborhood, but several streets over. In his rush to get his deliveries done, he gave her my box and he gave me the box that belonged to her. I now know however, that it was no accident. Although it appeared to be one, it was actually God’s divine intervention at work on my behalf once more. Praise God!
When I got ready to open the box, I noticed that my name was not the name on the box. I called the company that I worked for, and told them that I had the wrong box. I asked them if they would please track the box that belonged to me.. When they told me where it was, I recognized the name of the street. I went to the lady’s house to deliver her box and to retrieve mine. The two of us had never met before. She was a really nice lady, with a gift for gab. We talked for quite some time. After spending time having a great conversation, we decided to exchange phone numbers. From time to time we would call one another just to say hello.
One Saturday morning out of the clear blue sky, she called and said: “ I am cleaning out my front closet and I have several things that I want to get rid of. I thought I would see if you would like any of them”.
What she said next brought tears to my eyes. She said; “Do you remember the dishes that we could earn last year”? At that moment I knew that God was working! Trying to stay calm, I said ” yes I do remember those”, and she said “well I have lots of them, if you would like them, I will just give them to you.” That very moment my heart was so full of gratitude. God had granted a favorable answer to my heart” s desire. He cared about my desire for something as simple as a set of pretty plates.
God blessed me in a way that only He could orchestrate. From the UPS man leaving the boxes at the wrong house, to me starting a friendship with someone that I had never met before. God was steering me and guiding me to the dishes the entire time. When I tell you that God is Awesome, please hear me. This story is not just about pretty plates. It is so much bigger than pretty plates.
This story is about God’s kindness, His generosity, His wisdom, His will, His timing, His guidance, and His sovereignty. Most importantly, its about God receiving the glory that is due Him. I could not take one ounce of credit for finding those dishes and God wanted me to be very clear, that this was a gift from Him and that only He could arrange this! He wanted my heart to be grateful, and He wanted me to express that gratitude to Him, and boy did I ever!
Isn’t it amazing to think of the many things that God could work from something as simple as a set of dishes. You see I also learned from this experience, that though we may want something, God has the final say and it will be in His time and not ours.
I also learned that just as we want to give our children some of the things that they want, God does the same for us. You see I did not need the dishes, I just wanted them. Sometimes God just blesses us because He desires to do so.
Another lesson is that He always wants more for us than we want for ourselves. I was looking to get eight place settings and after the lady blessed me with her sets of dishes, I ended up with twelve place settings.
Something else that this reminded me of is; just because you don’t see the blessing coming, it doesn’t mean that the blessing is not on the way. Keep trusting!
So here it is about fifteen years later, and we still have those dishes. Some of them have been broken or chipped over the years, but for the most part we still have quite a few remaining. They are a reminder to me that God cares about the smallest things that concern me and I hope that you always remember that He feels the same way about what concerns you. Keep waiting and trusting, and you will also get to experience a pretty plate moment!
Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 103:13 (NIV)
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;