My young daughter and I were grocery shopping. Winter in the mid-west was at its best. Snow swirling and temperatures dropping, it promised to be another frigid, gray day.
When we entered the store, I immediately noticed the beautiful display of African Violets. All in full bloom in varying shades of pink, purple and blue, they were breathtaking compared to the white outside.
That’s when I started to pray for a violet.
You may be wondering how you know what things to pray about? Is a $2 plant from the grocery store worth bothering God about? How do you know if you are praying God’s will?
We had recently moved to a new state during the middle of the winter so I had given away all of my beautiful violets to neighbors and friends and now had a kitchen devoid of growing, friendly flowers. So when I saw the violets I sighed a deep sigh. I wanted a violet very much!
I thought about the violets all week and even hinted at it to my husband. Then I came outright and told him that I’d really like a violet, to no avail. He had actually looked for them at the store but they were all gone! Somehow this wasn’t the answer I had expected from God! I felt that He did want me to have those little flowers as a reminder of His great love for us!
The Day God sent me Flowers
The next week I had to return to the grocery store. I looked when I first came into the store and sure enough the display was gone. I went through the store putting things into my cart and crossing off the items on my list. Soon I was at the check stand ready to pay for my purchases. I had prayed in the store that if God wanted me to have a violet, that I would have enough money after getting all the things on my list to buy one. There must be a violet somewhere in the store! I had also shared with my daughter that I was praying that we’d have enough money to buy a violet after we got our groceries. She too had seen the pretty flowers the week before and knew of my love for plants.
Now these violets cost less than $2 and certainly wouldn’t break the bank. But I had determined to only use the money in my wallet and not to charge things on my credit card, so I felt that God would honor that, if it was His will. I had felt a bit silly bothering God with a request for a little flower. That was rather selfish wasn’t it? Nevertheless, I still wanted a pretty flower to brighten up my kitchen in the winter. So I continued to pray as we filled our cart.
We checked out and I was amazed at the total because the checker gave me $2.25 back! I was so excited I could hardly stand it! We pulled out of the checkout lane with our full cart of bagged groceries and I told my daughter with tears in my eyes, that Jesus wanted us to have a flower because He had made sure we would have enough money for a violet!
Now we started looking for a store employee that we could ask where to find the violets. The first employee told us that the violets were all gone and they wouldn’t have any more flowers until the garden center was opened again in the spring. They were sorry.
I chose not to accept that answer because I had the money in my pocket to buy a violet – a direct answer, I felt, to my request from God! The second employee told us they had been moved back by the greeting cards!
My daughter and I quickly pushed the cart over to the greeting card section to a huge beautiful selection of African Violets! They were gorgeous purple, blue, pink and white flowers. My heart was pounding as I thought about this answer to prayer. God is such a Master at creating beauty even on a wintry day! These flowers were so beautiful!
My daughter carefully picked out the perfect plant as we admired the vivid colors and diversity. We solemnly paid for our purchase and carefully protected the plant from the cold as we dashed out from the store to the car. My daughter held the answered prayer on her lap all the way home and carefully carried it into the kitchen when we got home.
As I unloaded my groceries at home, I stared again at the beautiful deep purple flowers and thought, amazed, that I serve a God who is interested in a $2 little flower to make me happy!
How much more is He ever willing to answer our prayers when they include life changing issues or decisions or wisdom for the day! So often I forget to even ask Him for His guidance and help and then of course I miss His answers since I wasn’t looking for them in the first place.
That evening at supper, I told my husband about my answer to prayer and how God had sent me flowers that day. While it sounded sort of silly, it had made such a huge impact on me that day!
We were reminded of the promises in Matthew 6:25-34.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
God knows the individual needs we have and He has promised to give us “the desires of our hearts” (Ps 37: 4-6) when we commit our ways to Him. But sometimes we might have the tendency to let the things that other people think of us take precedence over what God thinks of us.
He values us so much more than rubies or diamonds and yet we forget to ask Him daily to be a part of our life or we may think that our life is insignificant to Him!
My little violet has since finished blooming for now, but it sits on my kitchen counter as a daily reminder of how much God desires to be a part of our everyday life.
He wants us to come to Him with even the seemingly insignificant things of life so that He can bless us beyond our dreams!