Have you ever had something happen to you over and over - something good, but out of the ordinary - happen that made you start paying attention? I have a friend that when she sees a cardinal, she feels like the Lord is reminding her of something precious. Another friend told me a story of how she kept finding five-dollar bills on the ground. They were all five-dollar bills. Not ones or even twenties. It was very specific. Over a course of time, she finally started becoming curious as to why this kept happening. This has happened to me recently.
When we owned the cute little flower shop, we named it Deep Roots after one of my favorite scriptures growing up - Ephesians 3: 17. When I was young, I memorized this verse in the Living Bible Translation. It says, “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.” We painted that scripture from ceiling to floor on one of the walls in that flower shop. So, this verse has been precious to me for a long time. But it’s just been recently that I feel inundated with its message. I’ve received random text messages from people who mention this verse. For my birthday, I received several gift items from people that had this verse printed on it - from people who wouldn’t necessarily know that this verse had significant meaning for me. I’ll open an email or devotional and there it is. Or, I’ll be talking to someone and they just briefly mention this verse. It’s been weird! It was sweet at first, but then the repetition became so much so that at some point you have to stop and say, “What in the world is going on?” Of course, once I get out of my own way, I’m able to see that my heavenly Father is trying to speak to me. You do know, right, that He uses all kinds of things to speak to His beloved? He’s a part of every detail of your life, not just the times you decided to sit quietly with Him, but all the time. Everywhere. And He so desires that you and me would allow Him to be in it all.
So, the gifts were His way of caring tenderly for my heart, to lead and direct someone to purchase something - maybe random to them, but very specific to God. The texts were prompts from Him. Now, this is a great place to be reminded: don’t discount the prompts! If you feel the pressing to do or say something, don’t discount it, or be embarrassed to take action on it. It may just be the Holy Spirit using you to love on someone else in a very specific way. I know I’ve had someone sheepishly come up to me and say, “You may think I’m crazy, but I just have this overwhelming feeling like I need to tell you such-and such.” And it happened to be exactly what I had been praying about that morning, or something that had been on my mind.
Last week, a friend brought me a gift on what would’ve been Brian and my 33rd wedding anniversary. She brought two gifts actually. One she said she felt God and Brian together directed her to buy for me. The second gift she saw as she was walking out the door with gift number one and was convinced she needed to buy it also. Now here’s something interesting. That was something that I’d had my eye on for a while now. But I just don’t buy things for myself much anymore. It was a gold necklace with a compass stamped on a medallion. When she handed it to me, she said, “It has a compass on it. It’s a reminder to you: You’re never lost”. How did she know I had been feeling a bit lost lately? But the first gift, the one she said she felt directed to buy first, was a necklace with a shell and pearl on it. After she purchased it, she found this write up about pearls: A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear that results from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” She also sent me an article called Oyster and Pearl written by Mark Sprinkle that says, “The pearl is often understood as an image for the Kingdom of God - something so dear that we should, likewise, give all we have to claim it for ourselves. For those who seek diligently and make themselves acquainted with the mournful, craggy oyster shell, God has another, greater surprise in store - not just life, but treasure.”
I cannot tell you much I know that my loving, caring heavenly Father directed her to buy that necklace. Both necklaces, in fact. Brian used to buy thoughtful jewelry for me on occasions like our anniversary. And these two pieces, in particular, are very specific.
Last thing I’ll share with you about this incident: As my friend was leaving after dropping off the gifts, she said, “You know, I really had no intentions on going to that store. I was driving in my neighborhood on my way home and something just compelled me to whip around and drive over to that store to get you something.”
Listen, friends, you cannot brush away coincidences or pretend like God doesn’t actually guide people to do certain things according to His good pleasure, to give good things to His beloved, when things like this happen. God uses people, and He wants to use you and me! And when He wants to get something to you, He’ll move people and circumstances to do it!
So, here’s what I want to share with you today. You can have it all! You can have all the goodness, the provisions, the lavishing of love and specific care. You can have all the joy and happiness, all the treasures, all the good things that’s found in a relationship with your Creator God.
In Psalm 81:10, the LORD was challenging the people of Israel, HIS people, to covenant faithfulness, and reminding them of their covenant blessing when He said to them, “Open your mouth every so wide, and I will fill it.” He’s saying, “Come to Me in faith that I am the LORD YOUR God; the very One who performed miracle upon miracle to bring you out of slavery and bondage from Egypt. He’s saying, “Look what I’ve done! Look what I CAN do! So, what do you need? Open your mouth wide! Whatever your need, I will fill it.” It’s an indication of God’s boundless generosity to those He rescues and those who come to Him in faith. It’s evidence of His abundant care for His children. His resources are endless, and He has boundless generosity to give it all to you.
Matthew Henry says, “What is our duty? To raise our expectations from God and enlarge our desires towards Him. We cannot look for too little from the created creature, nor too much from the Creator. What is God’s promise? I will fill thy mouth with good things - Psalm 103:5. There is enough in God to fill our treasures - Proverbs 8:21, to replenish every hungry soul - Jeremiah 31:25, to supply all our wants, to answer all our desires, and to make us completely happy.”
About Psalm 81, Henry goes on to say, “God assured His people, Israel, that it would be their own fault if He did not do as great and kind things for them as He had done for their fathers. Nothing should be thought too good, too much, to give them, if they would but keep close to God. He would moreover have given them many more things (2 Samuel 12:8).”
So, there it is! An admonition from God Himself to expect good things from Him; to open our mouths, our hearts, our hands wide in expectation that He will fulfill His word and fill them to the full. To “raise our expectations from God and enlarge our desires towards Him.”
In John 10:10, Jesus says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." "More abundantly" means to have a superabundance of a thing. "Abundant life" refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy, strength, and resources for mind, body, and spirit.
My encouragement, friend, is to not let it be our own fault for the reason God does not do great and kind things for us; let us not be the reason we are not living an abundant life Jesus intends. Let’s draw near to Him, keep close to God, andhave expectations to see Him show up in our life today. Friend, ask Him to let you see all the ways He’s loving on you today; all the ways He’s trying to get your attention. It’s His heart to lavish you with good things. In Him is found all the good things. And you can have it all!