Saturday, February 7, 2015

The God Who Coddles?

It all started with a blue shirt on Laurelford Lane. It was just a t-shirt, but I loved that t-shirt. It was that icy light blue color I can’t get enough of yet have such a hard time finding. The one that exudes life and elegance. It had a unique, square neck line, too. SO much more complimentary than the ol’ crew cut or v-neck. (Why, oh why, don’t they make square-neck t-shirts?)

Well, I couldn’t find my beloved t-shirt, and it was the choice shirt for the occasion. A casual occasion, but an important one, nonetheless. Maybe friends visiting from out of town, I don’t remember. But I know I needed it. And I couldn’t find it. Let the fretting begin. 

So I did something that felt a little funny at the time. I prayed about it. I asked God if He would help me find my cherished shirt. But I felt a little silly praying about it. Because it was just a silly t-shirt, after all. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t anything that mattered. It was a big deal to me, but I knew it wasn’t a big deal to God. Just a first-world problem.

But God said yes. 
Yes to my silly t-shirt. 
Yes to my first-world problem. 

I was pretty taken back because admittedly, I wasn’t expecting Him to say yes. The whole left side of my brain had the case for no all laid out, and I trust the left side of my brain. It’s a good friend to me, you know. But God didn’t follow my logic. In fact, it kinda felt like He broke the rules. You know, the ones we good girls put in place.

Well, it wasn’t long before it happened again. Another t-shirt (because I’m just a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl). This time a black, kinda sassy, one. Again, the shirt for the occasion. And all my searching was just an exercise in banging my head against the wall.

I thought,

Do I ask Him again? 

Can I really ask the same thing twice? Especially when He said yes last time? 
Is this just calling upon Him as a genie in a bottle? I mean, it’s just stuff. 

Despite all my efforts to talk myself out of it, I held my breath and asked again. Pretty sure I added all kinds of disclaimers this time –

It’s okay if not, God.
I’ll trust that You’ve got something better in mind if I don’t find it. (Or at least I’ll try to.)
Really, Your will be done. 

A self-protecting girl’s gotta protect herself from disappointment after all, right?

Except that I found the black shirt. 
He said yes again.
I shook my head in wonder.

That was about eight years ago when I took those risks by asking God to help me find something that clearly had no bearing on eternity. And it was just the beginning.

For the past eight years, I have regularly asked God to help me find things. I’m talkin’ – multiple times a day. It’s pretty much how He and I hang out. Today it was a pair of shoes and a receipt. The other day, it was important notes I’d jotted down on an envelope during a phone call with a nurse. I’m in a season of life that’s largely characterized by survival, so I can’t find things. Regularly. And regularly, He has said yes.

And every time, I think,

Are you kidding me, God? 

Yes – again? . . . 

Today, I wanted to wear my chunky-sole shoes because I was going for a walk and wanted good support. Well one quick unsuccessful glance and I didn’t even get the words out of my brain before the shoes were right before my eyes. That immediate, before-I-could-even-spit-the-words-out response from Him felt so excessive, it was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to receive.

So with a heart of resistance, I asked Him,

Why do You keep accommodating me? 

Because I love you.

But what about the hard side of love? 

I know you know the hard side of love.

I laced up my black semi-platform shoes, still bewildered, if not thrown by the excess. And as I grabbed my coat, I finished with,

What if others found out out?
What if others were to find out how accommodating You’ve been? 

Especially parents!! What would THEY think of You as a Parent? 

He didn’t respond. I have a pretty good hunch He’s not concerned.

My friends,
God is not this scary, impersonal being without a heart. He's your tender, compassionate Father who loves you, cares about your needs, and abounds in grace after grace after grace. Don't let yourself forget that today.

- to treat in an indulgent or overprotective way
- to treat (someone) with too much care or kindness

I have more discoveries on this whole accommodating experience with God that frankly feels like coddling, but we'll have to come back to that another time.

In the meantime, thoughts?
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