The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Moments Of the Obvious"
In response to the story below, I have recently started a file in my computer entitled, "Sometimes God Is So Obvious You Almost Don't Have To Walk By Faith!" Since originating the diary, I have had several instances of our faithful Lord being so pointedly and openly gracious that one can almost see the shadow of His presence. The first entry in the chronicle, however, will always be especially special.
"Great is Thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:23).
For the last year, Frances and I have frequently glanced at a necklace that beautifully glimmered from a jewelry case at our local Costco. An aquamarine, the gemstone is a beautiful pale green and has a simple elegance that makes it all the more appealing (especially on Frances!). While not overly expensive, it cost more than would make us snap it up without a thought. Each time I suggested we consider purchasing it, Frances said no, she was fine without it, and enjoyed just looking at it when we visited the store.
Several weeks ago, I decided to buy the necklace as a Christmas present for Frances. I went to Costco, proceeded to the jewelry case, and looked at the spot where the necklace has rested for the last year. You guessed it. It was gone! I couldn't believe it. Just three days before, we had seen the piece in its usual spot. But now it was there no more. I looked intently into the case, and walked around it at least three times, praying all the while. "Heavenly Father, if it is not Your will that I buy the necklace for Frances, that is certainly fine. Buuuutttt…. but if You could somehow make this happen, I would be grateful!" I don't know how long I circled the jewelry case, thinking, hoping, and praying I was overlooking the necklace. But it just wasn't there. I was a moment away from walking away, when something - Somebody, I think - caused me to look up (which figuratively, I had been doing already!).
You guessed it. There it was! On the second shelf of the case, where usually you see watches, the necklace lay in beautiful repose, just waiting for me, well, actually, waiting for Frances). Somebody had moved it! And apparently, it had been moved because it was on sale at 20% off! Again, we had looked at the necklace in the same spot for at least a year, to the point that I couldn't imagine it being anywhere else than its accustomed place of display. But there it was! At 20% off the original price!
You can imagine how I felt, and still feel. So I said it in my heart, as I have before: "Lord, sometimes You make Yourself so obvious we almost don't have to live by faith!" Of course, I suppose that by praying and trusting Him in the matter, I had been living by faith. But it didn't seem like it. I had been so close, just moments away - from walking away from the jewelry case. But having looked Up, I am confident the Holy Spirit led me to look up at the top shelf to which I never pay much attention. I will never forget the moment, yet another wondrous experience of realizing that God can be trusted in all things as the perfectly faithful Father He is, and as the immeasurably gracious giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).
It was a joy to give the necklace to Frances yesterday. She loves it, of course, and again, makes the necklace all the more beautiful by wearing it. I also loved sharing the story with our family around the dinner table. I love sharing it with you also, and know you have your own chronicle of "Sometimes God is so obvious…" Of course, most of our lives do not involve such overt displays of our Lord's loving and involved presence. We do presently "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). But every now and then, an unseen Hand pulls back the veil in a manner that causes stunning and thrilling wonder. One supposes it will always be this way in our next life as we will be more equipped to see and assimilate the glory of God. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (I Corinthians 13:12). What a day that will be, when the Obvious of God will not be veiled, and when our eyes and hearts shall ever behold His manifested glory. But for now, we treasure the moments of walking by faith, and the moments when we can almost see the Unseen.
A final thought occurs to me as I finish this essay. There is someone - Someone - who enjoyed the moment at Costco more than I did, and who enjoyed giving and receiving the necklace more than did Frances and myself. The Lord Jesus Christ once told His disciples, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Our Heavenly Father loves to give and to provide, and certainly He rejoices in the moments of the Obvious, when His purposes allow for open displays of His goodness and devotion to our hearts. Yes, I walked out of Costco rejoicing the other day. I rejoiced as I watched Frances open her gift. She rejoiced in the receiving of it, and now, in wearing it. I rejoice in seeing her wear it! However, Someone rejoiced and rejoices more! The God and Father of our Lord Jesus is that glorious One who gave to us such a gift, and who loves to so graciously bestow "life and breath and all things" to His creation (Acts 17:25). He does so quietly most of the time, but allow me to say it again, sometimes He joyously makes Himself so obvious, we almost don't have to walk by faith!
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Weekly Memory Verse
"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."