I just sat there...unsure of what to say. I went to the Women's Coffee, not because I wanted to, but because that great big bear of a man of mine whispered that I should. He said, "A mug contest? You just HAVE to go and take your mug...I bet it will win!"
Okay, okay...now there is a real spiritual, selfless reason to go to a gathering! Laughing, I reluctantly agreed. I knew that really what he was telling me was that I needed the time to be refreshed with women...you know, pink-thinkin' people. And I mean no disrespect...nor to ruffle anyone's feathers! Just sayin' there is not an awful lot of girly stuff going on in a house where I am the only female!
So, I went. My mug, of course, did not win. As unique as it is (a flower pot with an oversized ladybug resting on its handle, "Bloom and be happy!" stamped among its flowers), it was neither the most sentimental nor the uniquest. I can't remember the other category...but really, that pretty little mug was nothing compared to the other mugs. Kind of like me.
Still, God had His purpose in taking me to that coffee...and as He frequently does, He left me completely speechless. One of the women said, "Oh, Shelly, you came! I am so glad. I have a coat for you in my car."
"Ummm..what? A coat? For me?" was my shocked response.
"Yep. You know, God has been telling me that this coat is for you. I LOVE this coat, but after trying to come up with every reason in the world to keep it, I can't fight with God. This coat is for you!"
I sat there in stunned silence. How could this woman know that within the last two weeks I had been at the store to get a new coat, but the money just wasn't there. I prayed and talked with God about it, thanking Him for the coat that I currently have...as old, ragged and ill-fitting as it is, I have to confess it is so much more than others have.
And then, across the table from me sat God's answer - my sister in the Lord telling me that God was directing her to do this thing. I probably wouldn't have accepted her gift, except that the women's ministry leader stepped in and shared how blessed she had been when someone had done something similar for her. I almost wept, but then found my voice to give thanks to God and to this woman who had heard His voice and obeyed. OVERWHELMED! And that coat? My favorite color in the style I was looking at in my size...only God would care about the exact details...only God could know and answer in such an unexpected, perfect way!
But...God wasn't done yet. A bag dropped off at my house the other day. Another answer from God through my sister. I sat there stunned...again, speechless. Over the last few weeks, I have complained to my husband that, well...that I had no shoes to wear with my jeans and dress pants - except my beat-up old tennis shoes. I have prayed about it and thanked God for His provision, but I have also shared with Him how I would like to have a casual pair of shoes to wear. Let's face it, when you live on a tight budget, shoes are not important. If you have one pair to wear, you are thankful. If you have two pair to wear, you are ecstatic. But that bag...it contained six or seven pairs of shoes, some with the tags still on. AND EVERY SINGLE PAIR FITS! Only God...only God! I called and thanked my sister. I told her the story that I had been asking God for shoes...and she said, "That is funny, because God kept impressing on my heart that I needed to give you those shoes!"
And here I sit, still stunned with the goodness, mercy and love of God. So, I bow in stunned silence that He sees and hears my smallest need and concern. He answers in ways I can't even begin to fathom. I give Him all glory and honor and praise!