I yelled at my boys. In a moment of frustration I let my emotions take over. I had been bombarded by things all day and stayed calm and collected, but that was the last straw.
I sent them to their rooms and retreated to mine. I slumped down on a chair and prayed. I was discouraged and frustrated. Frustrated by the barrage of things gone wrong. Discouraged by my reaction.
Prayers can take many forms. Some are short and to the point. Others more like a conversation. I would equate this prayer to therapy. I laid it all out there. Not complaining, talking to God about everything that was going on in my life at that moment. Nothing was going the way I would like, my outburst included.
Why did I react like that? I don’t like yelling. I want to be a mom who leads by example, not a do what I say not what I do mom. I prayed for forgiveness for my outburst. I felt frustrated that I had allowed my emotions to lead.
It seemed like a million little things added up to one big frustration. Yet the entire day I had been intentional with my thoughts. I have been participating in a Bible Study with the focus of contentment. The author laid out the challenge to embrace contentment through gratitude and not complaining.
That day as things didn’t go my way I began praying and thanking God for all the positives. Basically, the Pollyanna “Glad Game.” So where had my day gone awry? Why had I allowed myself to become so annoyed at my boys? The more I poured out my heart in prayer the more I felt discouraged by my response.
I wanted my bad day to turn around. The next morning was Easter and I wanted to enjoy the day and celebrate. Before that though, I still had tasks to accomplish including a last-minute kid-free Easter Bunny run to the store. And that is how I found myself going through Walmart on Easter Eve getting the last few items for my kids’ Easter baskets. Replaying my frustrations in my head and praying to God to change the trajectory of the day.
As I wandered through Walmart God responded to my prayers. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. An elderly man lingered near me. Then he approached:
My late wife spent her life trying to make me into a gentleman. She taught me the best time to give a woman flowers is for no reason. These are for you today.
In one hand he extended a bouquet of pink carnations. In the other he clenched the barcode and price tag he had torn off to his chest. Is it weird to cry in Walmart? I thanked him.
I knew immediately this was an answer to my prayers. In that moment I felt God’s delight. I thanked God for the flowers and his delight:
the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:11 NIV)
You might be thinking how do I know this act was from God? Wasn’t it the elderly gentlemen? God can use anyone. That man set out to find someone to give flowers to that day. It could have been anyone, but he felt prompted to give them to me. For no reason. The miraculous often shows up in the mundane.
I serve a big God. If you read the Bible, you will see God change and influence peoples’ hearts. Both believers and unbelievers. God can influence anyone, just look at Pharaoh in Exodus:
But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses. (9:12 NIV)
If God can harden Pharaoh’s heart, he can certainly influence an elderly gentleman to give me flowers.
It is currently spring. The desert that is often dull and lifeless in appearance is in full bloom. Everywhere I go I am mesmerized by the blossoms. I have even stopped to photograph and enjoy their beauty.
Flowers are in bloom everywhere I look including my kitchen now. A sweet reminder that God loves me. God hears me. God answers prayers. God delights in me. When everything doesn’t go your way sometimes you just need to know regardless – you are loved. Regardless of your mess – God delights in you. When you are feeling discouraged by a million little things going wrong – God cares.
The Christian walk is a dance. God leads and we follow. As he led me into experiencing his delight for me, I was able to better understand more of his nature. I was drawn into delighting in him. Do you see the beauty in that? God delighting in me allowed me to delight in God. With God everything comes full circle back to glorifying him.
My circumstances weren’t instantly fixed, but my heart was lifted and delighted by a God who sees, who hears, who cares and even sends flowers on bad days. Dear friend God delights in you! Regardless of your actions, circumstances, or achievements. Just because you are his and you are his creation. Let that sink in. Remember God delights in you.
Follow God’s lead in this dance of delight. Experience his delight in you so can delight in him. Live in his delight and be the conduit for that delight in the lives of those around you. Who do you know to whom you could be the hands and feet of Jesus? Pray about it. God will lead you to the right person. Then write a note, make a call, or give them flowers for no reason other than to let them know – God delights in them.