So if you live anywhere in my vicinity, you are aware of the infamous after-school car pickup line.
If you’re not, let me explain.
You wait in a line of cars to pick up your kids after school. It is…not short.
One day a week or two ago the stars aligned and God smiled and I was alone while I waited. (If the car line can ever be considered enjoyable, being without small children in it is of extreme importance.) I had taken my Bible that day with the intention of reading a Psalm a friend had mentioned recently.
See, I have been a smidge on the gloomy side lately, and this friend lovingly recommended that if maybe I trained my mind to think about God and how good He was, rather than dwelling on how miserable I was, things might start looking up. Or at least, I might start looking up. So, yeah, she’s a real jerk.
I love her.
And she was right. The entire chapter is beautiful; David is praising God for who He is and how good He is to us. And since I needed to remember that, I read through the chapter and randomly picked a verse to write down. (This is not the best method of Bible study, by the way.) Sure, I liked the one I picked, but they were all good. And I just needed one to remind me of His goodness when I was down. Just give me one, God.
If you can’t read my scrawl, it says, “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Ps 145:16).
I liked that. It spoke to my grumpy soul. All good things come from our loving God’s own hand, and He satisfies our hearts’ desires with what he gives us. A few days later the same friend brought this one to my attention too: “The word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does” (Ps 33:4 NLT).
Yeah, I liked that too. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. We can trust everything God does because God never does anything but out of love for us. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?
Until you have to believe it.
We have chickens here on our little farm. I would’ve never thought it, but those things bring great delight to my little new-farmer heart.
I love Esmerelda. She’s always squawking, and, I like to presume, bossing the others. Black Tiger is our beloved rooster. I’ve seen him be pushed in a plastic shopping cart, driven in a Power Wheels, and graciously submit to ceaseless petting. He’s as good-natured as they come. Frenchy has recently hatched us some new chicks, and that Mr. Darcy was so handsome, God rest his little chicken-soul.
We’re a happy farm family, all of us.
They know us now, those chickens, and so when we come outside, they approach, hoping we’ve brought something delicious to scatter in front of them. Good things come from our hands, namely scratching grain and cantaloupe rinds, and they’ve come to expect it.
It’s interesting to me, though, that despite these many months of relying on us for their everything, they’re still just a little cautious. Most of them shy away from our touch or, if they do approach, it’s with some hesitation. We’ve never tricked them or been cruel to them. We’ve given them nothing but tastiness, a coop, and the occasional snuggle, yet still they doubt our motives. They still question what comes from our hands.
The parallel is entirely too obvious.
God has given me something I did not expect recently. I am questioning His decision and I am eyeing his hand suspiciously. Are you sure, God? Are you sure this is the best thing? I’m just not sure I can trust you because this can’t be right. Can it?
I don’t know the end of the story that God has started in this. It’s quite new, and I am a tad uncomfortable with where it’s going. I was looking for cantaloupe rinds, and God has handed me something else. Something different. Something unexpected.
Something, perhaps, even better?
Can I believe it?
I laugh that I scribbled down that verse “randomly” last week. And I laugh because God was teaching me through the verse I was supposedly “teaching” in a children’s Sunday School class on Sunday. I laugh because God was lining up two Truths that I would need this week.
As I doubt Him and His motives, as I eye His hand with hesitation, as I’m not sure he’s got this one right, these verses remind me:
He’s never given me anything that has not been for my good.
Everything that happens to me comes from His good and loving hand.
I can trust everything He does.
I need that today. Maybe you do too?
What has God handed you lately that you weren’t expecting? Do share. There’s nothing like enjoying the goodness of His hand together.