Thursday, May 08, 2008

From Faithless to Faithful: Shopping in the Desert

It wasn't the Desert, was Dogwood. Still, I wandered in the desert for an hour and forty-five minutes, lamenting over non-existent bread, meat, water. It wasn't bread, meat and water I lamented over, was clothes!

My concern was for what I would wear for a visitation and a funeral. Rather than focusing on the issues at hand, a grieving father and family that really needed to be prayed for, I cruised the clothing store, looking for just the right outfit - you know the one, the one that makes people say, "Oh, you look so pretty." Or the one that says, "I am in mourning and am dressing appropriately to let you know that I have a fashion sense for these kinds of events.."

For what seemed liked 40 years I browsed the racks, from the highest cost all the way back to the clearance section, and back again. Twice. Thrice, even, browsing the racks, trying on clothes, taking them back, browsing, trying on still more clothes. I began to wonder if I was ever going to get out of there with my sanity. My mind raced as I looked and shopped, wondering what I would do. My feet ached from the journey around the desert, er, store, and from standing on them so long.

Finally, I just stood still. I was not even thinking about prayer, I just was trying to quiet the race in my mind. God spoke to me. No, the sky didn't open up. I didn't hear a voice so much as I felt the voice of God, that gentle, quiet Spirit, chiding me, "My child, remember my Word." I thought, "Your Word?" I was wondering what God's Word had to do with a shopping trip, an unfruitful shopping trip at that. I said (in my head, not out loud), "Okay, Lord, I know your Word. I read it. Okay, your Word. Hmmm...." How can I relate shopping to your Word?

It came to me. God spoke to me, reminding me of Jesus telling the disciples not to worry, not to fret about life, what they would eat, drink or wear. That life was more than just food and the body was more than clothes. Luke 12: 27-28 "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!" I reminded God we had this same conversation a few months ago, and He reminded me, in fact, that it was one that needed to be had again. And He added this: Remember the Israelites in the Desert? They wandered around for 40 years and their clothes did not wear out. Deuteronomy 8:4 "Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years."

I praised God and told Him I had 2 perfectly fine things to wear and as I left the store, carrying nothing but my purse, I had relief in my feet.

Faithless to faithful, God is there in the Desert, er, stores of your life, as you go with you when you shop. It helps to invite Him with you, though. We pray about so many things, but I never prayed to make my shopping trip a fruitful one. If I had, I doubt the results would have been any different. I hope not.

I enjoyed His Presence at Dogwood!

March, 2008