Monday, January 14, 2013

God shows up at Wal-Mart too

It was a regular ‘ole day at Wal-Mart. I try not to despise Wal-Mart. I try and see the interesting people there as people like me- getting deals, feeding their families. So, they forgot to get changed out of their PJs. So, they might have forgotten to take the rollers out of their hair. It happens to the best of us, right? I keep walking, looking at my list, grabbing things, searching for produce bags that are strategically hidden in the weirdest corners. I am finding everything on my list and have that happy feeling that I may not spend a hundred dollars today.

As I’m rounding the aisle I see the sign for apple cider vinegar. My heart sinks. That happy feeling fades as I think how badly I wanted to get the “raw” apple cider vinegar I’ve been reading so much about. The regular non-raw stuff is for the birds apparently. The healthy raw stuff is where it’s all at. I already went to Earthfare for the week and forgot to buy it there and I needed apple cider vinegar for a recipe before I take another trip to Earthfare. Wal-Mart doesn’t have that, I had already checked before. “I’m going to have to settle for the non-raw stuff” I say to myself as I roll the cart closer and closer to the bottles of vinegar. I look at the variety and like a beam of light streaming down from heaven, almost glistening right in front of my nose stood the raw apple cider vinegar! It is the only one, no sign for it and totally out of place. Without thinking I grab it as if it might disappear if I don’t snatch it up immediately. I bring it toward my chest and without thinking close my eyes and literally say out loud, “He loves me!”  It is so funny looking back on it because I really was so excited, not because I found it but that He loved me. I actually teared up and stood there staring at it in disbelief for a couple of minutes. It was one of those times that you just know that God loves you.

Silly example? Probably… but in my simple life of Wal-Mart trips, three loud & wild boys, inside out socks scattered throughout the house and three day old bananas smashed and dried on my dining room floors, this was a shout out from God to remind me, “Even in the midst of the messy and hairy days that you live day in and day out, I still see you. I love you in the little things, how much more do I love you in the big things?”  For that minute at the grocery store you would have thought I just won the lottery… well, because I did. He is my million dollars. It’s in the little things that God likes to show up. Doesn’t he always? He picked fishermen to be his disciples, He was born on a pile of hay, He chooses the least ‘qualified’ and ‘holy’ to be His hands and feet and to pour out His love on. Remember how He chose the shepherds to follow the star to Bethlehem and worship Him there in the manger? I’m the shepherd. I’m the nobody that God sees and decided to surprise with His love. Sometimes His love is found through His precious Word and sometimes it’s found at Wal-Mart in the form of raw apple cider vinegar.

It wasn’t the fact that it was raw apple cider vinegar. It was the fact that He knew that finding that would simply make my day. He really does delight in us. I can’t help but think of the times I surprise the kids with something they really want. Their face, their eyes, their excitement… is there anything better? God is our Father, and He rejoices over us with singing. How often I forget the myriad of ways He loves. When He shows up in big ways it’s amazing and wonderful and awesome. We expect Him to show up big because He is God- the Creator of the universe, after all. We love Him for it and sing his praises and send out praise reports. I think it’s in those little things that aren’t even worth mentioning that He really delights in, those small everyday things that are just between you and Him. He knows they will encourage us, delight us and teach us to not miss the small stuff because that’s where He lives and moves and whispers His love for us. The mundane, the boring, the everyday non-holy events, there He is breathing on us His affection, telling us He loves us over and over and over again. 

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