We drove up to our friends’ house in Hahira this evening. The goal of this trip is two-fold. First, Lindsey is hosting a women’s retreat at her house, and there are seven other women including Lee coming from Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida to take part in the retreat.
Secondly, we’re moving all of our home office furniture to Jeff and Lindsey’s. To do this, we rented a minivan and I spent the day taking apart the office and loading it into a Dodge Caravan.
Back in college, I would play Tetris incessantly. I spent hours upon hours of moving and flipping geometrical shapes in order to make them fit where I needed them to. This is perhaps the most useful skill set I obtained in college because I’ve developed a reputation among family and friends as being ‘the one who packs’. When it comes to loading a vehicle to the gills, everyone knows to simply get out of the way and leave me and my OCD alone.
We also brought a stand-up freezer with us. Given it was the largest item, I loaded it in the van first with the intention of packing everything else around it. I actually said a deliberate and intentional prayer before I started packing because I knew I would not be able to figure it all out on my own.
Upon getting the freezer in the minivan, it was apparent the furniture would not fit. I took the freezer out, called Jeff to let him know I was not able to bring the freezer, and proceeded to load the office furniture which was the priority. After patting myself on the back for a job well done with the office furniture, I was staring into the van, mentally measuring the remaining space. I took out my tape measure and confirmed what I had been thinking. After moving a couple of pieces around, I was able to make the freezer fit in the van.
I think the lesson here is that God is faithful when we ask for His help. However, because of our flawed human condition, we default to looking at things – problems – from a human/logical perspective. In my case, I loaded the freezer first because it made sense to do it that way. It wasn’t until I had abandoned my plans for the freezer and completed the priority plan for the furniture that God revealed to me how to load the freezer in the van.
I firmly believe that is a microcosm of how God answers our prayers and works with us. Instead of giving us what is easy or simple, God delays His blessing until we put in the work and learn to trust in Him. Prayer without action is simply a wish, but once we put in our part and work in the confidence that God will provide, He comes through with the answer to our prayer.
So if you’re frustrated that all the pieces in your life don’t fit nice and neat, keep praying but also keep working. To quote Mark Batterson, “we need to pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on us.”