A few days ago, we went to Costco on a busy shopping day. That store can be busy and parking is often two blocks away on an industrial road, if the lot is full. Just when I was about to drive away, some people walked to their car and drove away. Right in front of me, they left the best parking lot on the site, the one closest to the door. I snagged that valuable real estate quickly, before any other vultures could slide in. That made my shopping trip so much better.
Did God do that for me? Does God do parking lots?
In that same week, we had a failed tea kettle. It was one of those glass sided appliances with glowing lights; and we use it every day. It started leaking water, so I looked for a new one. The best deals were on the Internet, and they were not good deals. If I paid a high price and waited about a week, I could eventually get a new appliance to boil water. Before I placed the order, I decided to drive to a local drug store. Our local shop sells everything, and has a small pharmacy counter at the back somewhere. When I drove over there and looked, I found one kettle, better than our old one, and on clearance. Even Amazon couldn’t beat that price. I was home in a few minutes with the new treasure.
Did God do that? Does God do retail?
In the same week, I started a new job and the weather got warmer. That meant I needed a light-weight work jacket, in black, so I could look professional on my first day on the job. I looked everywhere, and I just couldn’t find what I needed. When I was ready to give up, we went near a Walmart store, so I checked for jackets. All I found was a display of expensive women’s jackets in several colors. Before I walked away, I looked closer, and one of those jackets was my size. I looked even closer, and it was a man’s jacket, lost on the wrong display. The end of the story is, that was exactly the jacket I wanted, in my size, and the price was half of the women’s jackets. I bought it and wore it to my new job.
I had a good week. Did God do that?
My experience with people who talk about God is on two extremes; God who exists but doesn’t get involved, which is called “Deism” and Charismatic Revival God who always does amazing signs and wonders; as if God shouts all the time.
You might know the name Mayim Biyalik, the television actress. She explained Deism in a video, and she mentioned parking lots.
I respectively disagree.
Jesus referred to the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:16), and He told the Devil “Do not put the Lord you God to the test.” (Luke 4:12). So, don’t look for personal entertainment when God has important things to do. Maybe that was just me in the parking lot.
But Jesus also told us “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” (Luke 16:10). Why trust God for big things, signs and wonders and eternal salvation, unless we also see the small things in a parking lot.
And Jesus also told us how to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3). We are supposed to ask for the small things that only matter to us.
The old word for this is “providence.” A providence miracle is hard to prove, and we mostly know that something good is happening when we see a pattern; many good things. I had a good week.
Providence is when a father smiles on a child. The parking spot, the kettle, and the jacket are all important to me. They are my daily bread.
Somewhere between being too busy for God, and only hearing Him when he shouts, is the Father who cares for me in small ways, even in crowded parking lots.
If you haven’t found it, I recommend that you ask. God is good in the smallest ways, and yes, God does parking lots.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12: 6 & 7)