Hobby Lobby Joy
Elly, Julia, and I walked into Hobby Lobby. We were exhausted. We had one hour before the store closed, and we wanted to be refreshed. These past two weeks of hard work with training and child care had left us a little bedraggled and weary.
As we moved into the fabric section, I said,”Hey, keep an eye open for green material and for something that might have a phrase from Psalm 23.” I make a new quilt for each of my grandchildren when they turn 12. Our second grandson is next in line for a 12-year-old’s quilt. I seek to incorporate the 12 year old’s favorite color and Bible-verse in creating a twin size quilt. Austin had chosen green and Psalm 23.
Elly had some great ideas of using fleece-like material to represent the sheep. Julia showed a material that illustrated the valley of the shadow of death. I was getting inspired. 🙂
As we perused the variety of fabrics, my eyes caught this green fabric with something written on it. Could it be?? Was it really?? Yes, it was a green fabric with Psalm 23 printed on it. The whole Psalm!!! So cool. Julia and Elly both were amazed. What a God-print!
Have you ever noticed God’s fingerprints? Many people stare right at them but don’t see them. They may see “luck” or “coincidence” because they’re not searching for the print of the person behind a sweet turn of events.
Latent fingerprints are placed wherever our fingers touch another smooth surface. Since the 1930’s, criminal investigators have used the practice of rendering hidden fingerprints visible by using a powder or a chemical agent to make a visual contrast between the ridge patterns and the surface where a fingerprint has been deposited.
If an investigator sees a woman across the way leave her glass at a table, he will not see her fingerprints on the glass from where he is sitting. He will believe they are there, and then investigate so that he can see what he already believes. Jesus said in John 20:29, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe.” Augustine and Anselm echoed this same idea – believe to see, not see to believe.
Believe so that you may see; not see so that you may believe.
If you actively begin searching for the God-prints in your life, it won’t take long. They are all over the place. I love discovering them. Sometimes it is not too obvious, and you have to search intently. Like what investigators do, th(i)nkfulness “dusts” and then lifts the prints of our benevolent God.
I have a special journal in which I record things that are just a little out of the normal, something that has God’s fingerprints all over it. How encouraging it has been to my faith over the years to re-read those entries. God desires for us to walk in intimacy with Him, trusting Him like a child would a beloved parent. As we nurture that relationship, He reveals Himself in precious ways.
The Print Lab
Once an investigator has lifted a fingerprint, he or she returns to the lab to compare the prints with the database. The most potent database of God’s fingerprints is in His Word. God’s Word is alive (Hebrews 4:12). You can read descriptions of His prints and see the circumstances in which they were detected and undetected by people and nations over a period of 1600 years!
Memorizing and meditating frequently on scripture moves His fingerprint data to your mind so that you can compare it with your circumstances at a moment’s notice. You start to see that His hands have touched, well, everything.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. But God’s gifts are still “good and perfect” even if they are not our favorites. When we choose to trust that God has all things in control and loves us beyond measure, we are in a position to be th(i)nkful. We choose to think thanks for every fingerprint, and as we express that thankfulness, it breeds more gratitude.
Even if the God-Prints Hurt?
It is fine and jolly if all is going well, like finding perfect quilting material at Hobby Lobby. But what about when God allows pain and hurtful things in your life, when the dark things also have His fingerprints? How can I think thanks with tears streaming down my face?
- God knows when things hurt.
- He is fully aware of all the nuances of every detail of your pain.
- He knows how many days you have been given.
- He even knows what you are going to say next (Psalm 139:4).
- He has promised to never forsake us. His fingerprints in the darkest valley of sorrow are even more precious.
- Soon this life will be over. Jesus is coming back for us. How do I know that? Because He promised and He doesn’t lie. He can be trusted completely.
- He is working on me to better work through me; I need to trust in His “greater good.”
Choose to trust the Lord’s character even when you cannot understand His ways. His fingers have shaped your path, so His fingerprints are there when you commit to searching for them. Think thanks in every God-print, joyful or difficult or frustrating.