“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)
We moved into our century home in small town Ontario 14 years ago. Our moving day was like all moving days with lots of unpacking, cleaning, and …..some more unpacking. Family and friends helped us move and shared in the excitement of us owning our first home. I remember we had no furniture for our living room then, so we sat on boxes while we ate the ultimate moving day food, pizza.
Newly married and with money to spare we took our time to select the perfect furnishings. A couch, loveseat and chair were purchased and placed intently in this room. For years, and years, and years these furnishings facilitated comfort around the wood fireplace. The furniture endured the pouncing of a German Shepherd pup and the sticky finger prints and faces of twin toddlers. Later, the couch and love seat, many times over, also served as a fort, modes of transportation, and an indoor playground.
For years, and years, and years the furnishings lasted with us although they began to look worn, and torn. Eventually one of the couch’s legs needed a support to prevent it from collapsing.
Married for more years with many other financial priorities, the hope of a new couch was long forgotten. Sure it was something we wanted, but we knew it wasn’t a need and only needs were being considered at this time.
Then one night my husband and I were out riding our bikes in our small town. Talking away we simultaneously noticed a couch on the side of the road out for the garbage. We both looked at each other and murmured, “No way! Should we? Should we go check it out?”
Always the encourager, I replied, “Yes, you go! You go look at it!” (Pride at its finest!)
My husband got off his bike and checked it out more thoroughly. I sneaked back towards it; laughing nervously (a.k.a. pride escaping from my lips). My thoughts sounded like this, ‘What in the world am I doing?’
The home owner saw us and came out (of course, he did!) and explained that they had recently moved into this house and the previous owners had left it. They did not want it and we could certainly have it! There were some scratches on it but otherwise it was in great shape!
Humbly we accepted the gift.
We rode home with excitement about God’s provision! How He had blessed us with something that wasn’t even a need but a want. A new couch! In just the colour and shape we would have selected given the choice! Unbelievable!!! We moved it into our front room and it was perfect!!!
Then it was time to move the old one out.
What were these feelings? Was I sad to get rid of the old, worn, torn couch? Was it the said memories?
What was making me hold onto the old and not let go? What was preventing me from truly embracing this perfect gift?
A few days later, God graciously provided me with some insight. Sure there were some great memories with the old couch but certainly new memories were to happen and the old ones wouldn’t be forgotten because they didn’t exist in the couch but in my heart. No, it wasn’t the memories.
It was instead a battle that I am too familiar with; the battle of pride. Where I constantly try in my own efforts to do; to make happen; in my own way and own timing. Instead of resting in the givings of our Gracious Lord, I toil and cling to the old. Somehow thinking that there is a limit to His giving. That I should think, plan and conspire in my own means as an alternative to relying on His, or worse yet, give up on wanting. That I was above receiving a couch from the garbage.
Forgive me Lord. And thank You for providing beyond needs and providing lavishly.
p.s. we love the couch!!!
Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father,
Thank You that You are indeed gracious. That Your ways are not ours and that You provide beyond measure. Help us to truly trust You with all of our needs; to truly trust with a knowing that You will certainly provide. Help us to lay down our efforts that are not in line with Your will and give us faith to expect Your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.