“Whew”, 80 laps in the pool and I was feeling energized and ready to tackle my errands. I showered, dressed and packed up my wet suit and towel and walked briskly to my car. It was only 30 degrees. I was sitting in my car strategizing which errand to do first when I kept having this thought about going to a particular grocery store that was 10 miles away. I ignored the thought because that same store had a location that was a mile away. So why would I travel 10 miles? What a dumb thought!
I kept rationalizing the persistent thought. Gas prices were soaring and I had tons to do so why would I go to this store? As I paused to listen to whether God was leading me to this store, I kept processing and interjecting why God would lead me 10 miles up the road? He wouldn’t, so I thought. He is a practical God. Really? Is He? Was it practical to have the children of Israel go out of their way to the Promised Land – Exodus 13:17? Was it practical for Jesus to let the disciples fish for hours catching nothing (John 21) when He could have told them in the beginning where to find the fish? Isn’t the truth more about His desire to reveal Himself and His ways to us?
I backed up and headed up the road toward the longer distanced grocer. When I pulled in, there were flags announcing the stores, “Grand-Re- Opening today”! I smiled and thought, this could be fun. I pulled into a first row parking spot and anticipated discounted items and samples!
Now anyone who knows me can tell you that my favorite thing is ice cream! I don’t care what time of the year it is. I love it in the winter, fall, spring and summer. I can eat it most any time of the day except breakfast! My favorite flavors are: Pistachio, Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip but I will take most any flavor if offered. So you can imagine how excited I was when I turned to the left aisle and there was a large woman with a split in her front teeth serving ice cream samples in the miniature cones. I immediately forgot about any other food items and I walked directly toward her. I chuckled when I approached and discovered she was serving Pistachio, Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip! Amazing! Which one would I choose?
Wow!!! Is this really happening? I wanted all three flavors, but certainly did not want to appear as a glutton. Did I care what others thought? The cones were small and besides I knew I had just swim over a mile and to top that today was Valentines Day! After all the kids left with their samples, she looked right in my eyes and giggled with a deep contagious laugh and said, “honey you have never grown up. I saw you when you first spotted me serving ice cream and how you barreled to the table. How would you like a cone”?
“Absolutely! My problem is I don’t know which flavor to choose.” She said, “Who said you had to choose”? What she did next has forever impacted my life. She reached into her large black bag and pulled out a box of large waffle cones and took out of a plastic sealed bag a regular sized ice cream scooper. The next thing I knew she began piling in that waffle cone all three flavors! I couldn’t believe it. My body language must have tickled her because she kept laughing as she continued to pack scoop after scoop. She handed me this huge waffle cone and said, “There honey. I did this because I could.”
I walked away as people in the store stared at me. I pushed my cart back to the front and left the store shaking my head. What in the world just happened? Why? I opened up my car, slumped in the seat, relishing every lick of ice cream smiling. I remembered what the lady had said, “I did this because I could.” Um isn’t that like Jesus? I did this because I could!!!
I was enjoying every moment of each flavor when I heard, “Rita, I give you thoughts not only to warn you, but to bless you. I wanted to tell you in a personal way, that I never stop thinking about you. I always long to bless and lavish my love upon you in creative ways to tell you, I simply, love you.”
Our Father loves us and desires to practically demonstrate His extravigant love for us. I have often thought about if I had not changed my course that day and missed His gift of ice cream. What I would have missed? After many demonstrations of His unique love for me, I now know that if I had missed out on receiving ice cream, my Father already had lined up many more opportunities. He is not bound by my choices when it comes to His love. If God is your Father, He too has planned out creative ways to demonstrate His love for you! For me, it was ice cream. For you, it will be something different. The key is that He wants each of us to know the depth of His love. He is not a Father who is always reprimanding, correcting or creating obstacles for us to barrel through! That is not God! He brought Jesus, so we could be restored to an intimate and loving relationship with Him. He is an abundant, over flowing gracious Father whose love has no bounds. His mercy endures forever and is not dependent upon us, but His faithfulness. (Psalm 100:5)
Today, ask Him to reveal His love in a way that is unique and special tailored for you. Then share it with us on this blog.