This morning prior the start of my workday, I went for a walk around the new town where I work – Palo Alto, California.
This town is unlike any other I have ever seen in this country. It’s a hybrid between a small European town and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Boutiques, bikers, and outdoor cafes abound. The older residential district and pop up old-style churches blend seamlessly together alongside the smallish, but active downtown. Commuters are evidenced walking and biking to work – some commuters barefoot or helmet-less on their bikes. One biker rides by in full on business professional clothing, white button down dress shirt and black pants. I marvel.
The air is crisp and cool – unexpected on a mid-July day (at least for this relocated Southern girl who is accustomed to muggy, hot summers). The climate is perfect. Not too hot, not too cool. And I am at peace.
Likely, my weekend of quiet solitary retreat with God is the main reason for this great peace. I’d say so. It was a refreshing weekend of turning all of my cares over to God, asking for His cleansing, and taking renewed refuge in Him. There is indeed no one like our God, Maker of Heaven and Earth who calms our flailing souls. While circumstances may not immediately change, you can find a sure refuge in God who is unchanging, an anchor in the storm.
And so I suppose you could say I got re-anchored.
So, this morning’s prayerful walk came from that place.
I could smell the gardenias blooming at my side as I strolled along the sidewalk. I could notice the unusual architecture of what appeared an 18th century church as I came upon it. I could receive the “Happy Monday!” that came out of the mouth of a walking businessman who passed me by with cheer and I could welcome him back the same.
During the final portion of my morning stroll near work, I happened upon a cardboard box that lay on the sidewalk fronting a residence. The medium small box was open, with the word “FREE” written in Sharpie on two of the inside flaps which were folded outward.
Hmm. It was a “FREE” box. I took a moment to pause and examine it’s contents. Box of Rogaine – don’t need that. Empty plastic juice bottle, empty glass jelly jar – why in the world are those in there? Is that a joke?!? Just put them in recycling! Ok, Lisa, calm down…give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe that’s their attempt at recycling…
What else…? A spray bottle. What was that – hair spray? Nope – more Rogaine. Rogaine for Women. Ah. Oh – oh, look, hah, there’s 2 spray bottles of Rogaine for Women. Nope. Definitely don’t need those.
Wait – what’s that?
The last item in the box caught my eye: a bottle of pump soap from Trader Joe’s. Was there really any soap in there? (I mean, I was a little dubious based on the other items in the box). I checked it – lifted it, unscrewed the pump. Huh! Yes, in fact there was soap inside! Well, something here really was free that I just found useful.
It occurred to me – I was planning to shower at the office today and had thought in passing earlier – what will I do for soap? (as I did not have any body soap particularly packed).
And suddenly, I felt the Presence of the One who sees all and knows our smallest need. The One who doesn’t miss it when even one sparrow falls to the ground. He was there.
This was for me.
I needed soap and He gave me a free half full bottle of it!
I began to feel a new awe for Him, the only One who is truly Awesome.
If He so saw and provided for that tiny little need of mine, would He not also take care of my much much greater needs?
Yes, Lord, so You will. I could hear my heart further entrusting to Him my much greater needs.
I was first tempted to holler to you all via my blog that “The Free Box made my Monday!” but I realized that would not be accurate or right.
No, it wasn’t the free box that “made my Monday” – it was the gift God gave me through it.
Himself. The renewed sense of HIM and His awareness of my concerns and needs.
He hasn’t forgotten. He hasn’t forsaken.
Not me. Not you.
He’s offering You a gift too. What does the Lord want to give you right now in His “Free Box”?
What is it that you need?
Ask Him for help. Ask for provision. He has promised to supply the needs of His children when we turn to Him, and He longs for us to receive from His hand the blessings He offers.