If I know even a hint of the extravagant love of God, I learned it first through my father.
My dad informed me recently that it was time for a new car, so this past week was filled with searching, praying, and decision making.
As I looked into options, my dad advised me to lease a car. He told me that it took him many years to figure it out, but that it really is the smartest way to go. My pride shut this idea down. I wanted to own the car and be able to call it mine! My dad supported this decision even though he disagreed and he helped me come up with the wisest way to buy one. Through this I learned that a good parent offers his wisdom and advice, but allows his children free will to make their own decision. Lets fast forward past the endless days of searching, and let me go ahead and tell you that after it all, I leased my new car. My dad was right. I could have skipped the stress and trusted him in the first place. However, I would not have come to this decision if he hadn’t offered me the freedom and support to figure it out on my own. I think God is a lot like this and I am thankful for that.
My dad was with me every step of the way. He was patient with me in every anxious frustration. I didn’t want a new car! My old car was just fine! And how am I supposed to afford a new car?! He spoke truth and encouragement to me in these moments. He also drove to Lansing and back with me twice directly after working 12 hour shifts. He test drove car after car with me, again, never loosing his patience. Sometimes I figure God must be rolling His eyes at me from heaven, throwing in the towel, thinking “when will she learn?”. I am so thankful that this is absolutely NOT true!!! God has a patient spirit. He is understanding and always kind. His grace abounds in the areas we could use growth and He loves us unconditionally through it all. He is with us through the process.. every step of the way!
The last thing I want to share about my car searching experience is that our God is a good God who LOVES to give His children good gifts. We serve a God who can move mountains by speaking one word out of his mouth. He loves us. It is easy for Him to satisfy even the littlest desires in our hearts, and it gives him great joy to do so. I did not care too much what my car would be like, as long as it was reliable. Although, in the back of my mind if I COULD have everything I wanted (which I knew exactly what that looked like), I would have a white SUV with black interior, AWD, moonroof, car starter and air conditioning. I would try to find that, but knew that was a lot to ask so I wasn’t going to be too picky. I found a pretty nice silver SUV that didn’t have all of the cool extras, but it would work. Long story short, they didn’t have the exact model I asked for on the lot, so they offered me a different car for a LOWER price. This SUV that they offered me (for a lower price, since it’s not what I asked for) was white. It has black interior, AWD, a moonroof, a car starter, of course A/C, and even some extras like a back-up camera, bose sound system, wi-fi, and OnStar. I never expected to actually get a car that was affordable to me AND included every little thing I wanted. But I did. God constantly satisfies even the littlest desires of my heart, guys. He has the hook-ups for His children!
(sidenote: I think the only thing that prevents Him from giving us the desires of our heart is when those desires have become idols. Even in these moments, I believe He wishes he could give us those things, but He holds himself back because it is what is best for us. A lot of times, I think He is waiting for people to re-align their heart in the correct order and in obedience to Him so that He can open the floodgates of heaven and bless us. He loves expressing His love to us. He loves to give us gifts.)
So, wrapping it up, I definitely believe this was a small gift from God. He worked it all out for ME. And I believe it gave him great joy to do so and to surprise me. I know this because I saw this same joy in my own dads eyes. As I was signing the lease, I glanced over at my dad who was grinning in eager anticipation. He looked at me and said, “I am so excited for you, Katy. I’m like more excited right now than I ever have been when getting my own new car. You are going to love it. And you’ve worked so hard. You’ve never complained about having no A/C. You deserve something nice”. (This is one of those moments that is locked into my mind, forever).
I am fully aware that there are those not as fortunate as I am. I am thankful to have a dad who loves me like he does, and who, ultimately, loves the Lord. I am thankful to have a dad who is a good example of the way God loves me. I pray for those of you whose fathers have left, or have left wounds in the deepest parts of your heart. I pray that you will not correlate the absence of your fathers love to the love of your heavenly father. God is always good and He loves you unconditionally. I promise to you that He will be faithful to heal you and redeem you for every wound. He has the power to turn any situation into gold, if you’ll let Him. He is a father to the fatherless! He is patient, He walks you through the process of life, He is kind and understanding of your every hurt, anger, and frustration (even if the anger is towards Him), and He delights in satisfying every desire of your heart no matter how big or how small!
God is good and He loves you so much. Open your eyes to the way He is trying to romance you today. It is all around!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the sun, the moon, & the stars” James 1:17
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11