This is a story of flowers, timing, and God. (Not necessarily in that order.)
Once in a blue moon, I treat myself to a (relatively inexpensive) bouquet of flowers. I adore flowers but often talk myself out of spending cash on flowers that are just going to die in a few days and instead put the money toward something more practical although slightly less exciting–say, toothpaste. Last week, though, my little heart really desired some flowers, so I thought I’d pick some up while out grocery shopping. After all, Valentine’s Day was coming up, and it would be a nice treat for myself (and much more healthy than a box of chocolates, another something I adore).
However, I sensed God telling me to wait and let Him provide the flowers for me. No problem. I promptly scratched “flowers” off my grocery list and eagerly awaited His provision.
Days went by. No flowers. I began to wonder if I’d heard God correctly. Maybe He wasn’t going to give me actual flowers, but perhaps a card with a picture of flowers on it. I did receive a couple of Valentines but not a hint of flowers on them.
Then I really began to question whether or not I’d heard God. I started thinking that I was foolish to deprive myself of a measley little $5 bouquet of flowers if I wanted them so badly. What was the harm, after all?
Oh, how thankful I am that I did not give into the temptation to buy flowers for myself, because this is where the story gets really good.
We have a florist come into our office every week to bring a make a fresh floral arrangement. When he came on Monday, he ended up having extra flowers that he did not use in the arrangement, so he left them for us. They were free for the taking. I ended up with my own bouquet after all.
Can I just say that I felt equal parts humbled and grateful on my ride home that night? I was laughing to myself at how silly I am to ever doubt God and His timing and ways. He knew all along that flowers would delight me. He knew that I could have easily bought them myself. His timing was not what I envisioned–but He sent flowers in a way that was unexpected and so unmistakably HIM.
And here’s a P.S. to the story: Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. She had received a gorgeous bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day, and she wanted to share some with me, so as I left she gave me some to take home. So I got even more flowers than I had asked for or anticipated. Wow.
I am in awe of how gracious God is, how utterly perfect His ways truly are. I am thankful that He used this example of waiting on Him for something as seemingly trivial as flowers to teach me that things always work out better when I resist the temptation to take matters into my own hands and instead let Him provide on His own schedule and in His own way. I am also reminded once again that, if He cares about such little desires of my heart, how much more do the “big” things that concern me also touch His heart?
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)