A friend and I pushed carts through Costco last weekend. I gave thanks for bananas and berries and lettuces and broccoli—all from others parts of the world growing while my garden rests under ice. I gave thanks for grains that make warm, chewy bread. And the cows . . . I gave thanks for cows that give milk for blue cheese and smoked gouda and creamy havarti. But the best part of all came near the end.
I stopped my cart by the fresh flowers. A rainbow mix of bright color and varied texture drew me near.
My friend loves flowers. We both grow vegetables and fruits but we are avid flower gardeners, always strolling through each other’s yards to see the latest blooms every spring, summer, and fall. So, I picked a bouquet with her in mind and instantly turned giddy like a kid. I would surprise her with a splash of orange and purple and yellow right in the middle of winter! She strolled up behind as my nose pulled up from smelling spring far off.
Putting the bouquet in front of her I said, “What do you think of these?”
She said, “They’re absolutely gorgeous.”
I said, “And so are you. These are yours.”
I wanted to jump up and down and shout like I do after a Packers touchdown but I remembered I was on a main drag in Costco and, well, I didn’t. But my heart was thumping and I was so thoroughly happy when I saw the smile on her face.
Isn’t love like that? When you care so much that you are blessed just to bless? And it’s the little things, the spontaneous things that give so much pleasure—when you really know someone and you see something and do something that is sure to thrill.
God is like that. He thrills me all the time with simple, little things. Sometimes He gives exactly what I ask, like on a morning drive in the Smokey Mountains when I prayed, “God, I would just LOVE to see a mother bear and her cub today. So if you’d like to give me that I would be soooo thankful!” And He did. Right there by the road! That very morning!
Or like the day I was in the barn doing chores and I thought about the verse in Isaiah where God says that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles. I prayed, “God, if I could see an eagle today that would be so awesome!” And just as I came out of the barn, an eagle flew straight over my head from south to north.
Do I always get exactly what I ask for? Absolutely not. And I’m glad I don’t. God knows best how to bless. I am learning to trust God’s wisdom and accept whatever comes my way. And even when the blessing feels like a curse, I WILL to keep believing there’s a blessing coming, because there IS for those who love God. I’m actually learning this lesson BECAUSE of the hard times in life and seeing what God does with them and with me through them.
So whether it’s a bouquet or a mama bear and cub or an eagle or the flu (like I have right this minute), I will praise the LORD with all my heart and keep looking for His beauty and purpose in all things.
The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11