Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed I was starting to run low on paper towels. I, however, wasn’t too worried. I had seen plenty of rolls in the store in previous weeks. I thought to myself… no worries, I’ll add them to my weekly online order.
At the end of the week, when I finally placed my order, the store was out of stock. No worries – I thought again. I am a two-grocery-store-trip kind of individual; I’ll look for some when I go to the second grocery store. And still, no paper towels. It was as if they all had vanished in just a few days. I thought about alternative options – and thankfully, a few stacks of napkins were left.
At this point, I didn’t ask if God would provide. I procrastinated, and so I felt responsible for the results. I figured I’d be diligent in my napkin use, reduce my paper towel use, and try to make it until a paper towel restock occurred. I was thankful for at least finding some napkins. COVID-19 has heightened my sense of small wins. I left the store and went home in search of my napkin holder. You see, I hadn’t bought napkins in years – I just used paper towels, so I couldn’t remember where the napkin holder was.
When God Provides In Spite of Ourselves
Once home, I started opening every cabinet. I couldn’t find my napkin holder, so I kept searching. I then went to open a cabinet I barely used. There in front of me were paper towels. This wasn’t my usual paper towel spot – so why were they there? I then remembered the time I bought paper towels, forgetting that I had already had a bunch at home. I couldn’t store them in the usual paper towel spot (since it was already full), so I used a cabinet that didn’t have much in it.
Those paper towels were probably purchased at least six months prior. Once in that cabinet, I forgot about them. So I kept buying more paper towels when I needed them, never using my back up stash. When I realized what happened, I had to laugh and thank God. Just that morning, I told God my soul was weary, and I needed to be renewed.
God answered my prayer in the most unexpected way. He showed me that He had already answered my paper towel needs months ago, when I made what felt like an absent-minded decision. I only needed to trust that the napkins were sufficient, and that God would provide in due time. And He did – much quicker than I anticipated.
God’s ways are not our ways
Were it up to me, I would not have answered my own prayer in that manner. I wanted God to remove all of my challenges so that I could find peace. Instead, God was reminding me that I have to learn to find peace in the midst of discomfort. I have to believe that no matter the circumstances, God will provide – physically and mentally.
To some, this entire story might seem like just a coincidence, but to me it was the reminder that God hears me. When we walk with Him, He makes no mistakes in where He takes us when we let Him lead. To us, life’s moments can seem like a mindless or painful detour. To God, it’s preparation for what is to come.
Giants… they Never Stop Coming
I once heard a pastor say that the giants never stop coming. David may have beat Goliath, but that wouldn’t stop more from coming later. Those words stuck with me because often times I’d like for those giants … those problems, those challenges, those difficult people… to take a break. I want them to go on vacation so I can take one too. Yet, the truth is this – we will never stop having problems and God will never stop having solutions.
There is no quota for the amount God will do for us. I am so thankful He doesn’t set daily limits on fulfilling our needs. So take strength in knowing that God will provide because He has already done so. And if strength in God seems to elude you, that’s okay too. Simply ask God for some more and He will give you your own roll of paper towels.
James 1:6-7 reminds us to:
ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
So be bold in your requests and let your faith carry you through the days ahead. Even when no one understands, keep going. Whether you’re alone or surrounded with support, God will provide. His cup runneth over and His mercies are endless. Trust the process even when it seems unclear. Allow God to reveal Himself to you by revealing your most inner thoughts to Him. Seek God and you will find Him…exactly where you need Him to be.
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