When my son Doug turned nine years old, we had a birthday party. He is now an adult and father of three teenagers, and I haven’t thought about that party for years. But recently I found myself thinking about it as though it happened only a few days ago. I remembered all the preparations that went into that party: the cake I baked– a chocolate-frosted racetrack, complete with little cars; special paper plates and napkins; a dining room decorated with balloons and crêpe paper streamers. I planned games and bought prizes, and even invested in a few kites in hopes that the weatherman’s prediction of a typical windy, sunny March day would prove correct.
The day came, nine boys arrived, and the fun was on. We played the games, ate cake and ice cream, and watched Doug open his presents. Then we went outside, and the weather was perfect for flying kites. Everyone had a great time. For me, the fun started with the preparations. As I checked each item off the list, it was fun imagining how things would go. Then as I welcomed the guests, led the games, served the cake, and supervised the gift opening, I enjoyed seeing the boys having fun. It was very noisy, but it was happy noise.
After they all left, I started picking up the mess, basking in and that glow that follows a job well done. A few minutes later Doug walked into the kitchen. ”Hey mom,” he said.” That was a real good party. Thank you.” Well, that just topped it off for me!
I wondered what brought that party to mind after all these years. Then I heard that small, still voice saying, “Remember how you felt as you planned that party and saw everything fall into place just the way you planned? Remember how much fun it was watching the boys doing everything you set up for them? Well, that’s how I feel when I set things up for my children and they enjoy what I planned for them.”
God is always at work behind the scenes setting things up for us. He loves doing good things for His children. I’m sure He especially loves it when we take the time to give Him the credit for it. 1 Timothy 6:17 tells us He “gives us richly all things to enjoy.” And Psalm 35:7 says God “delights in the prosperity of His servant.” It brings Him pleasure when we delight in what He’s done for us.
Whether He orchestrates something “big” like finding us a new home or a better job, or something “small” like an unexpected encounter with a person we needed to talk to, or even something “just for fun” like a parking place right in front of the store, God loves setting things up for us. He enjoys the setting up part of it, and He enjoys watching the details unfold – just like I had so much fun planning that birthday party many decades ago.
Be on the alert for evidence of God’s hand in the events of your life, big and small. Let Him know you see His fingerprints and appreciate what He’s done! That will bring Him even greater pleasure.