In this title I’d like to put the emphasis on “every.” God indeed provides for us, even in our very smallest needs. Last weekend my wife and her Mom went shopping, and while they were at Academy they picked up a fold up lawn chair simply because it was five dollars. That Saturday we were painting our kid’s beds, and we had stuff strewn around our side yard, a tarp, paint cans, and that chair they had bought. The next day before we went to see the planetary alignment at dusk we decide to clean up really fast. I didn’t know where to put the chair so I just threw it in the back of our SUV. Later on we met my parents at the lake to see the planets align, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus. Would you believe that it was also Trinity Sunday.
All day I felt God’s plans aligning, and his gifts speaking to us as we celebrated this holy feast. Aside from the planets aligning my son found a beautiful lily that just seemed to bloom that very morning, and there were other realizations as well concerning God’s plans. We were sitting around the picnic area at the lake waiting for the Western sky to darken so that we could see the three planets in their triangular alignment. My Mom has a bad back and she commented on how she wished she could sit down, and how the hard bench would only make her back hurt more. I remembered at that moment the comfortable lawn chair I had just inadvertently placed in our car. I went and got it all along realizing and telling my family how it was so clearly God’s gift to us. He was willing to provide for even that very small need. The result was that my Mom got to stay a little longer and her pain was eased.
Then the next day I went to Little Caesar’s to pick up a 5 dollar pizza. The girl looked at me and said in an awkward voice “declined.” I was surprised as I didn’t think our account was that low. Then I looked into my wallet and found a 5, but the total came out to $6.01. I looked deeper and there was a really crumpled up one buried at the very bottom of my wallet. That was all I needed. Immediately I thought how weird this was. I almost never carry cash and I could not remember when I had stowed these bills in my wallet, probably ages ago, but when I needed it God provided. Even this very very small need, God was willing to help me with! I felt God was speaking to me, like he was trying to communicate to me how much he cares for me and my family, how his care and love is all encompassing, all powerful, and how every aspect of his plan converges into a masterful blueprint, a loving feast for our lives even as the Holy Trinity is such a feast within the life of God.
There is also a comical element to this for me, and that is just how small these needs were that God was willing to provide to me. My Mom only sat in that chair for about ten minutes before she decided to leave, and I easily could have gone home and whipped something up. There was really no need for me to be at Little Caesar’s that night. But God, for whatever reason known best to him, decided to give me what I needed in those moments. That pizza tasted amazing, way better than any Little Caesar’s pizza I’ve ever tasted! I have to sit and wonder at God’s love for us, so intense, profound, so brilliant, providing for every need as they align with the present moment, where 0ur heart unified with the human heart of Christ opens out into the eternal ocean of Divine Love.
What was God trying to teach me? I think God doesn’t always make his plans obvious to us, he doesn’t always point and say “go that way.” But there are those moments when he makes his will very very obvious, when he makes his love for us so obvious that we can’t not acknowledge it no matter what we may be going through. I thank God for those moments, but more than that, I thank God for the in between times, those times when God is hidden from us, not from our hearts but from our senses, from the way things appear to us. I think its natural to depend heavily on our senses, what we literally see and literally hear, but God is often hidden. As often as he wants to make himself visible to us he hides himself from us. Why? Because he knows what is best for us, that we need to see him with the eyes of our soul, that we need to look deeper and below the surface of things, that real treasure is sought out, that God draws near to those who draw near to him. Find God in simple ways, in your everyday life, find him when he wants to be found so that when he hides from us we might have faith in his presence, his power, and more than anything, his love.
It’s sometimes hard for me to see God’s plan. I always want him to point and say “go that way”. But lately I’ve been thinking about his gifts to Kent and me. I feel like living in Iowa and feeling safe and loved in a place to raise my child was his gift to me. And I think moving to Texas is Kent’s gift. He’s finding his place here and feeling appreciated and calm. And, of course, we are both grateful for the gift of being able to spend time with your family.
Thank you for reminding me.