Janet and I are updating our master bathroom and today we went shopping for new rugs. After finding the right color, we laid the three sizes on the floor in the bath department of Macy’s and quickly decided that one was to large, one was too small and the middle one was “just right”. I think the words “just right” triggered something in me. As I stood there staring at the floor, I remembered the children’s story of The Three Bears. You know, when Goldilocks entered the home of the bears and tried the porridge – one too hot, one too cold and one “just right”. Then, the chairs and finally, the various beds; where she was found asleep on the one that was “just right”. When we find things are just right, we also find fulfillment and peace – just like Goldilocks.
And that is how it has been in my relationship with Christ. When I made the decision to apply to seminary, I gave serious thought as to why I wanted to attend. In fact, it was one of the questions on the application; in addition to the college transcripts, personal references, essays and other requisite information I had to supply. After much prayer and counsel with those who knew me best, it became clearly evident that I wanted – no, felt called – to go to seminary for one reason, and one reason only – to enter into a deeper relationship with my Creator.
But I almost derailed myself. When I entered Greek class on the first day of school, I was shell-shocked and actually headed toward the attendance office to drop out of school. Dr. Smith, Dean of the Seminary, asked me to delay my decision for three weeks, and if I still wanted to quit, he would sign my petition to withdraw. After all I went through to get in, here I was throwing it all away. I decided to wait and give my classes a chance. And am I glad I did! After three weeks, I was hopelessly hooked on learning more about God and entering into a deeper relationship with Him. And those are two distinct things. One of the pitfalls in seminary, and also in life, is that you learn so much ABOUT God that you run the risk of not deepening your relationship WITH God. As I look back on it, I realize that God relentlessly pursued me during those weeks and put me in a position that was “just right” for me. I would not have been ready at an earlier age, or at some massive school where I was a number instead of a person. God gave me just what I needed – just when I needed it.
Today, He still always seems to know when I need a kind word or a loving glance from Janet. Or when I need a friend to talk to, or mourn with, or celebrate with. Or when I need to hear that still, small voice. Or someone to just listen when I feel the need to talk – or not. Each time I seek God, his response is “just right”. Regardless of the circumstance, God promises that He will never give us more than we can handle. And when we worry that God may not show up, we are reminded that God is never late, but rarely early. Whatever the need, we are never alone.
So, this is my prayer for you today – that you will experience the grace and presence of God, and that His response will be “just right” for the need you may have. Then you will experience the fulfillment and peace that can only come from a relationship with Christ, the Savior. You can depend on that, for we are told by Paul, in Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Amen.