This evening, I volunteered to put together some food trays for an event a friend was having tomorrow. I already knew what I needed. I knew exactly where in the department store to go. I walked into the store on a mission, only to discover the shelves of plastic trays I was looking for first on my list were completely empty.
I stood there in disbelief.
If you’ve never made a food tray before, let me assure you, the tray is half the formula for success. How could there not be a single tray, in any size, on the shelves?
“Great! How am I going to pull this off now?” I thought to myself.
In that moment, I flashed back to a conversation shared with me earlier in the afternoon (paraphrased here).
“Over the course of my life, God has placed me in some big leadership roles. I’m just an old country boy at heart, but He picked me. I believe He picked me over others who had more education or experience because He knew I would need to rely on Him for advice and guidance. Too often people with their educations and experience forget they still need to go to God first for wisdom and advice.”
Guilty. Too often I rely on my own knowledge and experience and forget to ask God for help.
1 Corinthians 10:31 reads, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
If everything I do in life is for His glory, why don’t I pause more often and seek His guidance?
So there I stood in the middle of the department store feeling defeated. I had started a mission to do a good deed for someone I love, but I had left out the fact that God loved her, too.
I did the only thing left to do … I prayed.
“Dear God. I want to make this extra special for my friend so she can celebrate the goodness of what you’re doing in her family without any unnecessary stress. But I need your help. I’m going to drive across town to another department store. Can you help guide me on what to put together when I get there, please?”
As I walked down the aisle in the new department store, there were just enough of each type of tray that I needed to put everything together. One tray had a slight crack in it. I double checked a few more aisles, looking high and low for an alternative. No luck. The cracked tray would work in a pinch.
As I finished shopping for all of the food to put on the trays and headed for the checkout, I noticed some delicious pastries. I thought, “God, don’t you think the kiddos at the event would really love those?”
I put three boxes of them into the cart.
“But God, what am I going to put them on?”
As I headed back to the aisle with all the trays, on the bottom shelf I had scoured just 20 minutes before, sticking out half into the aisle, was a perfect round plastic plate identical to the others already in my cart.
If you passed a woman smiling from ear to ear with happy tears rolling down her face in a department store tonight seemingly talking to herself staring at the ceiling … that was me.
“I heard you today loud and clear God,” I told him, looking towards Heaven. “I promise, before I start projects, I will ask for your help first. My experience and knowledge is good to have, but your wisdom and power surpasses my own.”
The wise man who shared his knowledge with me today also referenced 1 Samuel 16. If you have time, read the entire chapter in your Bible. If you’re in a hurry, simply ponder this verse:
1 Samuel 16:7 reads, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Let your heart trust in God and remember this verse as you do:
James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”