I’m not exactly what you would call a punctual person. “6:00″means 6:05, “6ish”, means 6:20, “between 6:00 and 6:30” means 6:31, “Open House between 6:00-9:00” means 7:49…you get the idea. Now there have been those rare occasions when I show up for a job interview or doctor’s appointment right on time or even one to two minutes early (of which I am usually quite proud!), but in general, nope. I don’t like to be early, I like to be right on time, which usually means I end up being… late.
It was a Sunday morning at 7:57am. Sundays are a “work” day for me as I am on staff with the church, so therefore I always make an effort to be on time. Ideally, I try to show up at church at 8:15am, however as the time was already 7:57am when we enter the the scene, odds of that actually happening were looking pretty slim. Let me give you a little insight into my morning routine: wake-up, turn on coffee (coffee has been preset the night before because, let’s be honest, who can make coffee when you haven’t had any coffee? Amiright??), wander around aimlessly waiting for coffee to brew, drink coffee, read the Bible (or sometimes stare into space with the Bible on my lap waiting for coffee to kick in), drink more coffee, do whatever I’m going to do with my hair, put on some sort of makeup, get dressed. Getting dressed is always the last thing. I literally can’t imagine putting my clothes on before my hair and makeup is done. I just end up hating every article of clothing I own if I try to put it on my body before I do my hair and makeup. But once those ablutions are taken care of suddenly my wardrobe is flawless. Except when it’s not. Like at 7:57am on this given Sunday. And here, my friend, is the fatal flaw of getting dressed last: when that outfit that “worked perfectly in my mind” suddenly looks horrendous actually on my body at 7:57am, suddenly those three minutes I had to “just throw on” that beautiful outfit has now turned into 7 minutes of “I HATE EVERYTHING I OWN”. (And now you suddenly understand why I am perpetually late to things…) So I finally pulled a few articles of clothing off the floor now covered in clothing (although the floor was probably already covered in clothes when this all started… I’m not a neat freak either… another blog post perhaps?) that I have resolved myself to wearing and being ok with it BECAUSE I AM NOT CHANGING AGAIN.
Now here is the thing. I pray a lot. For big stuff. For small stuff. For everyday stuff. I ask Jesus for the light to turn green, I pray that I can find the right gift for my friends birthday, that Jesus would help me with a tough conversation, or with finding a good parking spot at Costco, or choosing the next book I am going to read, that he would help me learn how to snowboard, or help with making a new friend, or writing this blog… the list goes on and on. Now, quick clarifier, these are not “Jesus, you-need-to-make-this-happen-in-the-exact-way-that-I-think-it-needs-to-happen-otherwise-I-am-going-to-doubt-your-love-for-me-and-your-goodness-and-faithfulness-in-my-life.” If you pray like that, your faith is weak and you need to stop viewing God as your personal vending machine. However, what I have found to be true over and over again is that a) Jesus DOES help me with things when I ask and b) He cares for me and provides for my seemingly insignificant needs.
So back to Sunday at 7:57am. I am running late, my room is a mess, I’m starting to stress and suddenly… I CAN’T FIND MY BRA. Um, this is kind of essential when getting dressed in the morning. So as my time was rapidly running out and my insanity was starting to surface, I look through all of my clothing strewn across the floor without success. Suddenly, I stopped and said, “Jesus, I need your help. Would you please help me find my bra!” Deep breath. I go look in my drawer (previously not considered), and there is was, tucked under shirt I had already tried on that morning, just waiting for me to find it. “Thank you Jesus!” I yelled through the biggest smile you can imagine. I finished getting dressed and was out the door by 8:08(ish).
If it had taken me another 10 minutes to find my bra (which would have meant I showed up at work even later) would I have questioned God’s love, His goodness, and His faithfulness in my life? Absolutely not. Those attributes of God are not directly related to Him saying “yes” to my basically insignificant prayers. However, I do believe that God delights in helping us, in caring for our needs, even when that “need” is finding a bra tucked away in a drawer I would’ve otherwise never thought to look in. His help is not a right that I demand, but neither do I want to downplay God’s presence in every detail in my life. He cares about the details! He is our shepherd and He tenderly cares for us, His sheep. He is our provider! And sometimes that provision takes the form of a trusted friend giving wise counsel, and sometimes is takes the shape of a peace that is truly incomprehensible in the dead of a dark and painful night, and sometimes it looks like help in finding a parking spot, or a good book, or a misplaced bra. Friend, are you allowing Jesus to help you in the mundane of every day life? Do you trust that He will provide for you in both the big things and the small? Let’s together remember that we serve a Good Shepherd, who is loving, trustworthy, and delights in caring for us.