This week I got a call from a friend, Ashley, who was in the middle of a discouraging bathroom makeover project. Her initial plan had been to remove the decades-old wallpaper, but she fought the wall and the wall won. The house has a few years on it and the wallpaper wasn’t properly applied. It’s never good when you begin to question if you might be doing structural damage to your home as chunks of sheet rock join the discard pile.
She regrouped and put a new plan in play centering around finding the just-right shower curtain fabric. Hitting the web, she came across the perfect pattern only to discover it wasn’t for sale anywhere. After 3 hours of futile searching, she thought she’d have to find something else. The next day, she texted me a picture of the original fabric, told me why she loved it and said, “But I literally can’t find it. Like it doesn’t exist!”
In a moment of right thinking—I wish I did this 100% of the time—my response was an application of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”. I texted this to her—not really knowing if/how God might respond:
1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” How can we do that?
At a preaching conference, several years ago, I heard a solid interpretation of this verse. Devereaux Hubbard said, “Pray in the rhythm of life.” As we go about our day, if we talk to God about everything we undertake, we’ll be praying without ceasing. The NIV Life Application Bible carries this note: We cannot spend all our time on our knees, but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times. A prayerful attitude is not a substitute for regular times of prayer but should be an outgrowth of those times.”
Nothing is too small to bring to God.
Back to my friend. Later that afternoon, I was waiting in the school parking lot for my daughter. Knowing how resourceful Ashley is, I thought, “If she can’t find it online, it probably can’t be found.” However, with nothing else to do, I started searching for that fabric. I cannot begin to tell you what kind of a search I did, but within 3 clicks, God not only led me to the fabric, but directed me to a site where it was massively on sale. I texted her to see if it was the right pattern and got the equivalent of a text jaw-drop in response.
The point of this story is not how great I am at searching the web. The point is the lavish love of God. Will He always answer by directing in ways like this? Of course He won’t—but there was a bigger work going on. Let me share (with permission) how my friend reacted when God provided what she asked.
Last night, after I ordered the fabric, I spent some time with God thanking Him. I was feeling a bit of guilt and shame for not immediately turning to Him for EVERYTHING and needing that reminder (nothing crazy, just acknowledging my sinful nature which is always uncomfortable). I was going on and on about how loved I feel and how grateful I am and I got this sense of “Hush, just look around. It’s so much bigger than this”. I’m realizing God is using this remodel to teach me how He’s growing and remodeling me.
I have been praying for guidance on where I could have a “war room” [for prayer]. I feel like there isn’t an inch of space in this house where I could take over and call it all mine…a place I could go to pray FERVENTLY and do battle for me, my family, our church and our country. God also took this time with Him to show me that, yet again, I’ve put too much emphasis on the details and not on the main thing. He said to me, “Be ready, child. We are building your War Room right now! Get to work!” As I spend time working on this bathroom, I’m going to be praising God the whole time. I’m going to go to battle in the bathroom!
You may be battling things that are bigger in life-scope than finding the right fabric.
You may be frustrated that your day is filled to overflowing with “things not going your way”.
You may be feeling far away from God.
You may be looking to go to your next level with Him.
Whatever season you’re in, the pathway to a breakthrough is the same:
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Rejoice—be glad that you are known by the One to whom you are talking.
- Pray without ceasing—talk to God in the rhythm of your day.
- Give thanks—no matter the situation or outcome. God doesn’t create nor delight in evil, but He will be with you through it.