1 Kings 19:12
Has the Lord ever told you to do something, and you knew that He had, but you failed to do it right when He asked you? That is me- in a nutshell. The Lord clearly says to me, “Stephane, I need you to do….” And I, being the stubborn, strong willed child that I am, fail to do it. Usually when the Lord asks me to do something and I don’t do it- I find myself in a “pickle”. Because I chose not to do what He specifically asked, I find myself in a jam. You may be thinking that I am off my rocker, and what exactly am I talking about? Well, let me tell you a story.
I am a coffee drinker- in fact; most people who know me will tell you I always have a cup of coffee in my hands, no matter the time of day. I drink coffee from the moment I get up to the time I go to bed. Sometimes, I will carry a cup of coffee with me to bed, set it on my nightstand, and while I am reading my One Year Bible, I will sip on it.
One night, as I sat my coffee cup down, the Lord clearly said to me, “Don’t leave that there, you will spill it.” I hesitated for a moment, and replied, “No, it will be alright.” I snuggled down into my warm bed and fell fast asleep. That next morning, my alarm clock went off at 5:00 a.m. and startled me awake. My arm went flying, and so did my coffee cup, all over my bedroom floor. As I was scrambling around looking for something to clean up the spill, I heard the Lord (in His still small voice) lovingly say to me, “I told you.”
I humbly began to clean up the mess that I had made because I failed to do what He specifically told me to do. But something great happened- He taught me a very valuable lesson. Even in the little things, even in the very details of our lives, He is there. He knows. He sees the end from the beginning. There is nothing that He does not know about you, there is nothing that can happen to us that He has not preordained to happen. Even when we mess up- He knew we were going to, and He warns us- but sometimes, we just don’t listen. I call it, being a pickle!
Now, was I happy about the coffee all over my bedroom floor- and the splatter that it caused on my bedroom wall? Uh, no! But, I was able to praise Him in that moment. You would think that after that fiasco that I would learn the lesson of listening to the Lord, even in the little things. Wouldn’t that be nice! Instead, I find myself in a similar pickle today. Oh, if I would only learn, right? Ever tell yourself that? We all do, so don’t lose heart. Just take the lesson you are going to learn from it, apply it to you heart, ask the Lord for forgiveness- then keep on walking!
So what is the pickle I find myself in this morning? The first pickle (coffee cup spill) I consider a “dill pickle” incident. Not too big, but still a pickle. Today, however, I find myself in a “Colossal Pickle”; you know the ones- the huge pickle that you get when you order a sandwich plate. Yeah, that’s me today- a Big Pickle! About a week ago, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I need you to step out in faith on…” (what He asked is between He and I). I heard Him, said “Okay, I will. But, what about…..” He replied, “Trust me, okay? I need you to do this because I can’t give you this unless you do that….” (I know I am being vague, but bear with me)
I failed to do that one little thing that He asked me to do; now I am over committed and I worried all night long over what I was going to do about it. I prayed, I asked for help- I asked Him to help me out of this “pickle jar” I have once again fallen into. At 4 o’clock this morning, He lovingly replied to me, “I told you.” (Of course, He made sure I was awake at 4 o’clock in the morning to hear His reply too!)
“Yes Lord, you did tell me. I am so sorry for it. But, can you please open this lid and help me out of this stinky pickle jar I am in right now?” I could feel His smile and still small voice singing over me as He spoke, “Of course I can.” He did too, He gave me the wisdom to work the time I needed out to keep the commitments that I agreed to. I also, humbly, did what He had originally told me to do, first thing this morning. (At 4:15 a.m.!)
As I was praying this morning, asking for forgiveness and help- I think I could hear the sound of His laughter as He opened the lid off my pickle jar. I began to see the joy in the situation, and how by just following His instructions and leading the first time, would have saved me from being stuck in the pickle jar! We both laughed about it after the fact, but let me tell you- being stuck in a “pickle jar” is no fun! It stinks!
My prayer this morning, after all this happened, was as follows;
Lord, what joy there is in you! I love Your sense of humor! I love to imagine You smiling and taking such joy in Your children. My heart rejoices in You and in Your will for my life. Lord, help me not to be resistant to Your leading! Father, You are always looking out for us, waiting for us to let go and to follow You in complete abandon. When You say go- you mean go. When You say wait- you mean wait. We can’t see the end, but You can! Lord, thank You for your provision and for Your great love You have given. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Ladies, please- “Don’t be a Pickle!”