Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Getting to Know the God of Details - Lindquist

A little while ago, I took the time to spend a day with God in the midst of some of his most exotic creations at our local zoo. And while there, I had a bit of an "ah ha!" experience.

It happened while I was looking at a Siberian tiger, studying his magnificent, velvety, orange coat with its black markings, the white tufts of whiskers, the deep, simmering eyes. It must have been the orange colour that reminded me of the kitchen curtains God helped me make some years before.

Now I know some people would say that God has more critical and urgent things to do than to help someone get new kitchen curtains. I sometimes wonder about that myself. I mean, really, why would the God who made the heavens and earth take the time to make sure that one unimportant person gets the right material for her kitchen curtains?

But he did.

We had moved into the house about twelve years before. The steel blue wallpaper in the kitchen was fairly new and good quality, and we had lots of other expenses, so we ignored the fact that we found it kind of depressing, and left it up.

But, finally, the day came when we just had to do something to brighten the kitchen. We painted the dark wooden cupboards cream, painted the walls to match, and bought a new cream table and chairs with apricot and turquoise threads in the chair fabric.

I looked for curtains in either the apricot or the turquoise. Nothing even close. I looked for fabric to make curtains. Nada. Not at any price. Those colors simply weren't in. My time was running out. I had many other things to do. I had to find something, and I had to find it now. I prayed, "God, please help me find the material I need, or something else that will work." I got into the car one last time, and drove to the closest fabric store, looking for a fresh thought, a new idea, something I hadn't thought of before. Nothing. I drove to Walmart, explaining my frustration to God. "I can't take any more time on this. Please help me find something - anything - that will work."

I had been in Walmart a few days before and seen nothing. But the moment I entered the fabric area this time, I saw a bolt of light apricot material on a sale table. It was non-wrinkle polyester, the exact color and weight I needed, and on sale for only 99 cents a yard! I bought 12 yards, enough to make curtains for both my kitchen window and the adjoining family room window.
I drove home in a happy daze, thanking God. And I had the curtains up by Saturday night.

I know that bolt of material was not there three days before. Where did it come from? Perhaps the God who can turn water into wine can also make bolts of apricot fabric appear.

But why would he bother?

Reliving that experience in my mind while still looking at the Siberian tiger, I glanced over and noticed a sign explaining that the black markings, particularly those on the face, can be used just like fingerprints to identify each tiger. No two Siberian tigers have the same markings.

But it's only a wild tiger, I thought. Why couldn't they be the same?

I remembered Matthew 10:29. "Two sparrows cost only a penny, but not even one of them can die without your Father's knowing."

If God knows each tiny sparrow, then presumably he also knows each Siberian tiger by name.

I thought of the next verse, Matthew 10:30. "God even knows how many hairs are on your head."

And I suddenly realized, in a way I never had before, that God is a stickler for details. He is right here with us all the time, looking after us, caring about what matters to us, trying to guide us into knowing what matters to Him. And He wants to be included in our day-to-day lives, even when it's about buying curtains.

I thought of the many other times God has intervened in the seemingly trivial details in my life. Why would the God of all the heavens and earth find me a parking space just because I'm in a hurry and didn't leave enough time, or point out the exact book I need to read just now, or show me how to patch up a broken relationship? Because he cares about every tiny detail in my life. Every detail of all of our lives.

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