We’ve all heard the quotes — “our God is a big God” – “There isn’t anything too big for God” – “God can handle this”. Often, it’s during a period in our lives when we are facing what seems to us to be insurmountable odds. An illness. Financial troubles. Divorce. Death. The message is usually delivered in an attempt to make us feel better about the particular problem we are going through.
Let me just say, I love the fact that God is there for me when I face the big problems. But what about the day-to-day things — you know, the little things, those “troubles” that are more of an annoyance than anything else? Are those things too little to bother our big God for”? Shouldn’t we just try to work it out ourselves?
As I was thinking about this, I asked myself what God would say.
Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (NIV) I don’t know about you, but that one seems pretty self-explanatory. But let’s make it a little more personal. God is MY refuge and MY strength. MINE! So cool! He is an ever-present help. So, I think that means He’s ALWAYS THERE! As in, He never leaves. He’s an ever-present help, in MY trouble. Now, I read that as “trouble”. Not “big trouble”. Just, trouble. Doesn’t matter if it’s big, small or somewhere in the middle. And as cool as that is, it’s not even the best part.
Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken”. So, not only is He my refuge, strength and ever-present help in time of need. But now He’s commanding me to “cast my cares on the Lord”. Not the big ones. Not the small. But all of them! Is this not the coolest thing? I can take all of my cares, concerns, troubles, worries etc. to God! Does anyone else feel like their life is going to be a lot better from this moment on?
Okay, so by now you’re probably wondering, “Dude, what did you put in your cereal this morning”? Nothing. I had eggs, bacon and pumpkin spice pancakes. But that’s beside the point. I’m excited because I had the opportunity to test this last week.
My beautiful baby girl turned fifteen recently. It’s scary actually, I still remember the day she was born. She was so tiny. It’s hard to believe she’s now a young lady.
Well, we had been planning her day for months now. I would take her to get her drivers permit, and then head over to the church parking lot for some wheel time. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go as planned. It was a crazy, troublesome morning.
The plan was to get up at seven, get ready to go, then take the 50 question exam online so that we could then head over to the DMV to get the permit. Everything went like clockwork, right up to the start of the exam. Alexys had been taking practice exams that “mimicked the actual exam”. Well, they didn’t. Alexys started to get anxious and was stressing a bit. I calmed her down, and at question 46 the exam stopped and told her she had passed. What followed proved to be decidedly inconvenient – a message stating that it would take up to 24 hours for the exam results to post to the state system. And there went our plans for the day’s activities.
Alexys sighed and hung her head. The look on her face said it all. She was disappointed. In an attempt to make her feel better, I said “lets make a call and see if it’s really 24 hours.”
I called the DMV and asked the very pleasant lady who answered the phone “my daughter just finished her 50 question test and we received a message that it would take up to 24 hrs for the results to post. Is this conservative? Or generous?”
She sighed and said “I really wish they would change that. It’s more like 48 hours.”
“Really? What are the chances that it would be uploaded sooner?”
“Sir, you really need to wait till Monday.”
“Hmm. Well. That’s quite inconvenient.”
“I’m sorry sir.”
“It’s not your fault. Thank you, and have a great day.”
I hung up the phone, looked at Alexys and said “lets go get breakfast and revisit this on a full stomach”.
We went to Cracker Barrel, a family favorite for breakfast. We were seated, and we placed our order. It was time to give her the gift I had gotten for her.
When Alexys was born, I bought Christina a Sapphire ring (September birth stone). Recently, I had the Sapphire ring sized for Alexys. I gave it to her not just as a gift, but as a reminder that she should seek God first, in all of her relationships. She was thrilled and couldn’t seem to keep from smiling.
We made small talk while we enjoyed pumpkin spice pancakes until Alexys got quiet. I asked her “what’s wrong?”
“Do you think we, really have to wait till Friday to get my permit?”
“I don’t know Kiddo.”
“Do you think we could try?”
I could tell it was bothering her, so I decided then and there that we would at least try. But I really wanted to stack the odds in our favor. So I looked up to heaven, and started talking to God.
“God, thank you for Alexys. Thank you for allowing us to spend today together. God, you know how long we have been planning this day. You know how excited we are, and You know how important it is to Alexys. God, I ask that if it be your will, please expedite Alexys test results to the front and put them into the state’s system so that she can get her license today. In Your name, Amen.”
I smiled at Alexys and said “we are going to walk in faith all day believing that God will come through for us.”
She smiled and said “okay.”
We had to get a consent form notarized, so we drove to a bank where we spoke with a very friendly banker. We told her what we were doing and she was excited to help. About halfway through the process she looked up from her ledger and asked “are you a member of the bank?”
“No, but I was told I didn’t have to be.
“Oh, well, they don’t know anything. We aren’t supposed to do this for non-members, but I’m going to go ahead and do this for you anyway.”
She then looked at Alexys, gave her a wink, and continued documenting the information we needed.
We finished at the bank and gathered the rest of the documents we needed for the DMV. Alexys was hungry, so we stopped for a snack before heading to the DMV.
We arrived at the Winter Garden branch around 1:30pm. When we got there we were advised that the line to get a license had already closed due to the number of people that were already there. I asked if she would be able to check any of the other branches for me. She smiled, handed me a slip of paper, and said “No sir, but feel free to check them yourself”.
I smiled, said “thank you”, and we took a seat while I checked with each of the other branches. They were all closed, except for one. Downtown Orlando had a few spots remaining.
I put myself in line from the Winter Garden branch, and then Alexys and I took a nice leisurely drive downtown. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite “leisurely”. But we got there safely, and with time to spare.
We waited about 45 minutes, and then our name was called. We approached the clerk and told her what we were there for. She asked “has Alexys had taken the 50 question test?”
I said “yes.”
“Has she waited 24 hours?”
She said “I’m sorry, but it takes at least 24 hours to update the system.”
I smiled and said “the message we received said it would take up to 24 hours, which means it might take less and we wanted to give it a shot.”
She sighed and said “okay”.
She started the process and began asking Alexys questions. Alexys looked at me for a couple of them and I, of course, answered for her. The clerk smiled and said “Sir, since it’s her license, I need her to answer.”
I laughed, looked at Alexys and said, “It’s all you Kiddo”. She laughed and I did my best to remain silent. While the clerk was entering information, Alexys and I chatted about our prayer from earlier and we both agreed that God would come through for us. The clerk smiled and continued entering information.
When it came to the point of checking the system for Alexys’ test results, the clerk looked at us with a smile and said “Okay, here we go.”
We smiled and waited with anticipation. The clerk made a few key strokes and then waited for what seemed like an eternity. Then she gave a bit of a surprised look and said “Oh! They’re there!”
Alexys smiled and said “yay!” as I once again looked to heaven and gave Jesus two thumbs up.
Alexys left the DMV, license in hand. I took the obligatory picture of Alexys with her license. We talked all the way home about when and where she would be able to drive. She’s been driving almost everywhere since then, and loving almost every bit of it.
Okay. Yes. It’s a little thing. In the grand scheme of things, a driver’s permit is not a really big deal. But it doesn’t have to be.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” It doesn’t say anything about big or little. He want’s to be in every part of our lives. Is this not cool? Are we not blessed to have a God who loves us this much? In the words of the Pointer Sisters “I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!”.
God is great, all the time. All the time, God is great. Big things. Little things. Doesn’t matter. He is great in ALL things. Thank you Lord for all your blessings.