And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I had plans to pick up a few things at the grocery store: bread, apples, and a few green bananas. Forty minutes and full cart later, I found myself hustling toward the automatic door with thoughts about thawing chicken and spoiling yogurt.
That’s when I saw them: It was a close friend and her beautiful almost-two-year-old daughter.
We hugged, and I forgot all about the yogurt, lingering long over the cart and the quickly thawing chicken. It didn’t matter. I was so good to catch up. She told me how she’d started a new book about prayer and how it was revolutionizing her prayer life. We spoke of the abundant goodness of God and his generosity to us.
I was bagging the groceries when her precious child decided she was finished with the banana she’d been munching on. “Would you happen to have a tissue I could put this in?” my friend asked. I checked my purse, but there wasn’t a tissue in sight. I kept bagging the groceries – shoving salsa and chocolate chips and pizza into balled up plastic bags from the back of my car.
In the midst of bagging my groceries, God suddenly showed up in all his abundance. I reached for the next empty plastic bag, but it wasn’t empty. It was filled to the brim and bursting at the seams with nothing other than clean white tissues. I suddenly remembered the afternoon my two-year-old emptied an entire box of tissues onto the living room floor. Not knowing what to do with the mess, I shoved it in a plastic bag and figured we’d eventually need a tissue in the car.
God does not sweat the small stuff but He is always engaged in the small details.
God knew exactly when those tissues would be needed, and when my friend asked for a single tissue, I was able to give her more than just one. I offered her an entire bag. Had it been any other friend, in any other moment, talking about anything other than the abundant goodness of God, I might have missed the moment. I might have missed God’s sense of humor.
We laughed about the goodness of God as I finished bagging the groceries, and I couldn’t get the incident out of my head for a week. The heaping bag of tissues reminds me of several truths about the character of the God I love:
- He is a good Father (Matthew 7:11). Though we may not understand why he seems to wait to answer our prayers, though suffering and trials may come, we can trust that God is good. He works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
- He is capable of more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). My friend asked for one tissue, and God immediately supplied dozens. This small token of kindness reminds me that he holds the details of my life in the palm of his hand. He can step into any situation and bring relief. I can trust in his sovereignty.
- He wants us to turn to him for even our most basic needs (Matthew 6:11). When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, he modeled the simple practice of asking God for daily food. Whether it’s the stress of the mortgage payment, the furnace that just broke, or new tires for the car, we can turn to God and ask for provision for all of our needs.
- He is pleased when we ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7). Jesus reminds us to keep asking, seeking, and knocking. He reminds us to persist in prayer. Because prayer is a gateway to a deeper relationship with God, he is pleased when we turn to him again and again with our most basic needs.
I hugged my friend and wished her well as we parted ways in the parking lot of the grocery store. Shoving the plastic bag of tissues back into the car, I couldn’t help but wonder what might happen next, if only I could keep my eyes open for the hand of God.
Stacey Pardoe is a wife, mother of two, mentor, freelance journalist, and Bible teacher. She writes weekly at staceypardoe.com. Her greatest passion is to walk in the love of Christ and make His love known to the world.
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