Wednesday, July 29, 2009

God in the Ordinary

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Psalm 107:1

Keeping alert to God's involvement in our lives isn't always easy when difficulty comes or even when the good happens. Numerous times I have heard people say, "If God is good, how could he let this horrible event happen." And, it makes me wonder how many times they acknowledged God for the good things or did they simply take those for granted. God takes alot of blame for the the world's atrocities.

Today I want to acknowledge God's involvement in the ordinary. For several weeks my daughter and I had planned a "get-outta-town" weekend. We made the reservations, downloaded the directions, filled the car with gas, had our water bottles, music, packed our bags for two nights. Everything was in order as we began our four hour drive through God's beautiful empty country of the southwest. And then our car completely died, two miles outside of our destination. That was when God had fun!

God's first angel was the tow truck driver and his beautiful girlfriend who quickly wenched our car up on the flatbed and began the drive to the dealership. It was already 3 o'clock in the afternoon, traffic was heavy and, of course, the service department at the dealership was closing down--for the weekend. Monday would be the day of analyzing our car's woes.

Okay, so, we were in our destination city but how were we to get to the hotel? Wandering around the showroom was God's second angel, Kai, who offered to take a break and drive us uptown. In the car God blessed us with Kai's story and how he wanted to live up to his last name, Evangelista, and he believed God was calling him to ministry at some point in his life. He and his wife had plans, doors were opening, he was being patient. In response to my attempts to give him gas money, "No! All I did was what the Lord wanted me to do."

So, we added another night to our trip and thoroughly enjoyed the food, the sites, the Spanish market--all within walking distance of our hotel.

Monday arrived with a call from Erik, God's third angel, with the news that a new fuel pump was required but wouldn't arrive until Tuesday. We added another night to our hotel bill. It wasn't what either my daughter or I wanted to hear and by this time the charge on my cell phone was quickly disappearing (I didn't bring my charger because we were "only going to be gone two days") and wasn't helped by the fact that I had dropped it in the melted ice of the ice bucket that morning! Another angel suggested we go to the Verizon store which just happened to be a bus ride away and the bus stop was directly across the street from where we were staying.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

With the phone recharged and a bus ride back we walked to what ended up being our favorite lunch but I didn't hear my cell phone ring until we were finished and we were back on the street at 2:30. A message from Erik--our car was ready! How did that happen? Well, says Erik, I figured you didn't need another charge on your hotel bill so I called around, found the part and we got it done! Thank you, Erik!

Rushing back to the hotel, where our story had apparently made the rounds, the manager voided our Monday night reservation even though we were beyond the cancellation allowance--"let her get back home!" Trooping across the street loaded with bags and my new broad rimmed (my daughter calls it my sombrero hat) straw hat we again boarded the bus for our journey to the farthest point south that we could get. Having landed in a mall parking lot we made our way into the cool of the indoors and walked in what we thought was the right direction, laughing at how we must look to the other shoppers, especially when I set my bags down in the middle of the mall to look at a map to double check the name of the street we needed. Three different people helped us get going in the right direction and we, laughing all the way because of how odd we looked and how incredible the whole experience had been, finally arrived back at the dealership. Erik had our car ready with a reduced "payment due" balance from the estimate he initially gave--"I worked on getting it lower for you."

We were back on the road by 4:00 and home by 8:30. All the way we pointed and gasped at all the desolate places we could have found ourselves, literally in the middle of no where. All the way, we thanked God for delighting in us and although it ended up being a far more expensive weekend than anticipated, we acknowledged how, within the ordinary, God provided people, his creation, to help. It didn't take any effort to see His hand.

I pray this will encourage you to look for God's involvement in your life in the most ordinary of events. You will be surprised. Don't take anything for granted!

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