For several months, I searched for an accent lamp –a particular accent lamp. I had seen one exactly like it at a friend’s house and I knew it would fit perfectly into my living room décor.
So I searched all the little boutiques for this particular lamp. It had to be just the right size, with a Tiffany-style shade that invited all the beautiful warm colors into my living room. Oh, I could picture it – I had to have that lamp.
None of the stores I searched offered anything like it. It seemed that every store featured the more contemporary lamps, silver or chrome with snaky necks –ugly in my opinion. Nothing like my traditional and sometimes eclectic style.
Then I searched on the internet and found the exact type of lamp I wanted, but not the exact type of price. I decided not to worry about it and prayed. Maybe God didn’t really want me to have a new lamp. Maybe he had another plan for me. Maybe I should just be grateful for the roof over my head (that existed without an accent lamp).
Several weeks later, on a whim, I toured an unusual out-of-the-way store. Actually, I was looking for some yard art and had almost completely forgotten about the lamp search.
But I suddenly saw it. No, it wasn’t the Tiffany-style lamp. It was even better. Something completely unique and unexpected, with the colors I love and in a terracotta base which reminds me of the American Southwest.
The lamp was discounted for Mother’s Day and since I am a mother, I decided this was my gift to myself for all those hours of labor and sleepless nights and worrying and all the other things we mothers complain about but are grateful for when we look into the sweet faces of our children.
Here was my lamp –not what I expected but even better. I quickly bought it, brought it home, inserted the bulb and danced around the room as the warm colors reflected on my walls. Then I stopped to think –my experience was just like life!
We often ask God for something specific, something we want or think we need, but he often has a better plan for something we’ll enjoy even more.
How often have we been surprised by a job that uses more of our gifts and less of our energy levels, a mate who isn’t anything like the Hollywood samples but has more character and longer staying power, an assignment that utilizes more of our creativity and gives us joy.
Often, God works something better for me, gives me something better, presents a better idea. If I listen to him or wait for him to offer the best answer, I’m always glad.
In fact, Paul reminds us that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”(Ephesians 3:20).
That’s true for something as small as a lamp or an even bigger desire of our hearts.
Every time I look at my lamp, I thank God for it because it reminds me again that God knows what is best for me. He is able to provide in ways beyond my imagination for something that blesses his heart and mine.
Read an earlier post by RJ here.