My wife and I went on an excursion late yesterday afternoon to our local Super Walmart to stock up on a few grocery items that we were in need of. I usually like to go on our shopping adventures earlier in the day, but had to make an exception to the rule as they were doing mandatory fire inspections of the apartments yesterday and we needed to stick around until they had been through our home.
As it turns out they only spent about two minutes in our place as they were simply doing a quick visual inspection of the sprinkler heads in each of the rooms. But since we couldn’t leave the pooch unattended in the home nor did I want to leave her in the car while we shopped, I decided we’d make the trek to the store after the inspection was complete.
I was well aware that our trip would put us on the road in the busiest time of the day as folks were heading home after work. The most direct route from our place to Walmart is down State Highway 54 which is a semi-urban traffic artery connecting the capital city of Raleigh to its western suburbs. The section that we take is mostly a two lane roadway that slows way down with the mixture of the increased traffic flow and multiple stop lights. Nevertheless, I decided that it would be good for us to get out and brave whatever we encountered!
I had learned early on with the purchase of the Mustang that it is not the right vehicle to take when one goes shopping as the room in the back seat is minimal and the tight egress makes it somewhat difficult to maneuver bags in and out. So with its comfortable back seat, four doors and larger trunk, we opted to take our Buick this time around. It is also a very quiet and smooth riding vehicle and turned out to be the perfect choice for this memorable time.
On the way home as we sat still in the midst of the stopped traffic, I rolled down the windows, sat back and enjoyed the ambiance of the moment. Piper was catching a few Z’s in the passenger seat and I found myself lost in thought as I gazed out the windows at the tall trees that lined the meandering roadway and the sights and sounds of the country on either side of the rural stretch of road. As I burrowed back into the comfortable leather seats, I found myself thinking about how pleasant it was to be here in North Carolina. In the short four months since our arrival it already feels like home.
I thought about the conversation I had with the older Indian gentleman who checked us out of the store. I had met him a few weeks back and at that time we talked about Piper and how we were standing in faith for God’s healing for her. I had found him to be surprisingly open to the conversation as he spoke of his dependence on God and how he used to go to the temple every morning to pray when he was back home in India. As we had talked I tried to imagine what his concept of God was so that I could best approach the subject with him. He remembered us yesterday and happily started up another conversation.
Then I thought about the friendship that we have been cultivating with the staff at our apartment community. One of the maintenance team members and I talk on almost a daily basis as we pass each other during our daily walks and his scooting around in a maintenance golf cart. He even mentioned that they want to cut a few more driveways into the sidewalk so that I can maneuver Piper around the complex a little more easily! Talk about the favor of God!
Then there was the conversation with the Pharmacy Manager at the CVS store around the corner from our home. While we were waiting for a pick up yesterday, he called us out by name from the back counter to inquire how we were doing and then we plunged into a discussion about the SF 49ers, the SF Giants and the Atlanta Braves… Like I said, it feels like we're home!
As I rolled all of these thoughts through my mind in the solitude of the tree-shaded highway, I decided that I felt pretty good and kind of special that the Lord has helped and guided Piper and I through the entire process of our move and settlement here. And with that, I began to smile and thank the Lord. 2 Samuel 22:36 talks about this as the writer penned his thankfulness to God exclaiming, “You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your help makes me great.” (God’s Word ©)
This may sound a little funny to you, but that word “great” always makes me think about the “Tony the Tiger” commercials where the cartoon mascot emotionally shouts his joy over “Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes” declaring: “They’re Grrrrreat!” Well, as I sat in the car yesterday I also felt like emotionally shouting: “God is Grrrrreat!” He has allowed me use of the shield of His salvation and given me help when I needed it most therefore I also feel “Grrrrreat!”
“Grrrrreat” that I am “the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8 KJV), “Grrrrreat” that He makes me to stand firmly and confidently on the high places and Grrrrreat because He works with me to train my hands for battle. (See: 2 Samuel 22:34-35) I also find it “Grrrreat” that I am special to Him and am making a mark (His mark) on those in our new home!
How about you? Is His “Grrrrreat”-ness working in, with and through you into your community to make you feel “Grrrrreat” today? Just the thought of being “the apple of His eye” should be more than enough for you to feel “Grrrrreat” but when you add His using you for His purposes where you live, work, worship and play it should put you right over the edge into humble, grateful and expectant joy without measure!
So I challenge you today to go out this weekend to not only enjoy feeling “Grrrrreat” about your personal and very expectant relationship with the Lord, but also to burst forth with His “Grrrrreat”-ness” everywhere you go! Have a “Grrrrreat” weekend! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to spill His “Grrrrreat”-ness on today?