It seems that there are 2 kinds of stories. Some stories are dramatic. I mean extremely dramatic. Rags to riches sort of stories! The kind where homeless people become CEOs of a fortune 500 companies. I suppose it’s the dramatic nature of these stories that grabs our attention. The truth is, however, most of our lives are not marked by these sorts of stories. Our day to day lives are, au contraire, marked by uninteresting, lukewarm, mediocre stories of faithfulness, failure, grace, and blessings. These stories, at face value, don’t have much to interest us and so we quickly forget about them and move on. What a shame because faithfulness in the little details, thanks for the little blessings, and gratefulness for the little graces, I suspect, help in the development of a godly character. I need to grow in how I observe the mundane details of my life. I need to grow in being able to properly give thanks to the Lord for my breath, the water that I breathe, my health, the things I take for granted. So, let me tell you a story about a dishwasher and the unexpected gift that it was to me.
On Instagram, a few weeks back, I joked about our “vintage” dishwasher. You see, we’ve had a dishwasher for years that did not fit our dishes. Did not fit your dishes? Yes, our everyday dishes did not fit in there. The dishes were a wedding present and they would not fit. I am not sure how old our dishwasher was but our plates are a great indicator that serving sizes have increased just slightly since that dishwasher was made. Day after day, month after month, year after year, I handwashed our plates and large dishes. Could we have purchased a dishwasher? Yes, we could have! We even tried to get a used one off of craigslist but could never find one. At one point, we got a free one from a guy who assured us that it worked but it didn’t. Oh well, that was fine! We just kept handwashing the big things. But you know, I never care. I don’t know why it never bothered me not that I had to hand wash the dishes. I grew up handwashing dishes and so maybe that’s why it did not bother me. As a matter of fact, many of the times, I enjoyed handwashing the dishes. The only time it became a tiny bit unbearable was the times we had large groups of people over. However, it really was a tiny little price to pay to enjoy our favorite past-time: loving on other people.
A week ago, I was on one of those Facebook groups and someone was selling a bunch of things and one of those things was a dishwasher. I commented to let her know that I was interested in the dishwasher, not expecting her to message me back because I just don’t seem to have much luck with those Facebook groups. But, you know, even though I was not able to pick it up until the next day which was Memorial day, she was very patient. I was shocked that she did not go over my head and sell it to the next person just because it was a bit hard to let her know when exactly we would be at her house to pick it up. We needed to go to a party about 40 minutes away in a direction that we travel about only once or twice a year. However, it just so happened that her house was conveniently placed 2 minutes off of the route that we were already traveling to go to the party. It was a little bit weird. When we got there, the lady and her mom were extremely kind and friendly. I manged to bargain with them slightly and she let have us it for 20% less than she was asking. A few days later, we sold our old dishwasher to help offset the cost. The current dishwasher is a perfect match to our fridge, fit our dishes, and cost us very little money.
That’s it! That’s the story! Nothing dramatic! Nothing extravagant. We needed a dishwasher, didn’t want to buiy one new because we wanted to use our money to serve others and the church, waited 2 years, and the Lord provided a dishwasher for a fraction of the price of a new one. He allowed for me to find it on Facebook, for the sellers to be really patient and extremely friendly, for their home to already be on the route that we were already traveling although we very rarely travel that route. Isn’t that a blessing? Isn’t that a reason to rejoice and to thank the Lord for his provision. I wish I could tell you that I prayed for a new dishwasher once a week but that is not true. In fact, I can’t remember one time that over the last 2 years that I prayed for the Lord to provide a new dishwasher. That is a shame on my part but even in my failure to pray, the Lord provided. Could I have done without a dishwasher for much longer? Of course! Does it make our lives more convenient to have a dishwasher that works for us? Of course! What a blessing! What a normal, uneventful reason to praise the Lord for caring for us little creatures!
I think about that incident and I try to remember all of the times that I failed to even acknowledge, nonetheless, thank the Lord for the little blessings. I call them “little” blessings but when in fact there is no such thing. That terminology just reveals the attitude of my heart toward all of the good and perfect gifts that come from above, from the father of lights. Seriously, think about it! What is a “little” blessing as opposed to a “big” blessing? Is the dishwasher a little blessing or is it that I am just used to the narrative of the dramatic rags to riches sort of stories and therefore only rejoice when I experience those sorts of stories in my life. Of course the Almighty deserve praise for those blessings as well. The fact of the matter is that they are all gifts from the Lord. The only difference is that I need a lot more of a reminder to praise him for the uneventful things than I am for the big eventful things. The eventful things are more obvious. They steal the show. Noticing what seems like the uneventful, undramatic, blessings in my life is hard to do. This is why I need to develop this habit of intentionally searching for them and praising the Lord for them.
So, I’d like to encourage you to take note of the uneventful little but not-little-at-all blessings and make a habit of praising the Lord for them. This is my new habit! I ask you to join me. Have o story to share with us? we’d love to hear about them in the comment section.
Subscribe via Email