In the summer the minute light starts peeking through the shutters the dog is nudging me. “Get up Mom, it’s go time.” Most mornings I resent this, but I had a full day planned so I let him have his way. I wanted to get my prayer walk in before playing golf with my girlfriend. Normally on a golf day I’d skip the walk but it was my 13th penny anniversary so it had to happen.
I left the house feeling unbelievably grateful. I could’ve never imagined on the day my penny adventure began I’d be well enough to take up a new sport. I didn’t think I’d be well enough to do much of anything besides just get by.
Out on my walk I felt like the Holy Spirit prompted me to think about what my greatest penny epiphany has been. It’s one of those questions that’s like asking what motherhood has taught me. So much, I don’t know where to begin. In the 40 minutes I was walking I couldn’t seem to land on just one thing. I suppose because during different seasons in my life the pennies have meant different things.
From the start I’ve known they were a reminder to believe for God’s best in my life. That’s the message that lit up when I found the first four on that walk 13 years ago. It’s a simple idea but one that’s hard to hang onto. So much of it depends on your image of God. Is He a loving father-God or a judgmental authoritarian God? Is His best what I think is best?
They’ve also served as a reminder that God can be trusted to provide whatever I need—when I need it. Again, another simple sounding idea that’s not all that simple. What is it I need in the first place? In the beginning of my journey with chronic pain I thought it was to be pain free. Over time I’ve realized that’s not my greatest need. The greater need has been learning to live with it, or rather learning I can live with it. That was a God-sized perspective change which is what almost every penny I find invites me to do—change my perspective.
However wonderful these insights have been they still don’t represent my biggest lightbulb moment. It’s something I’ve felt for years but haven’t pushed myself to put into words. Out on the golf course later that day, I finally found them when my last putt fell in the cup. The sound rung like wine glasses toasting and the word that echoed in my head was CENTER. The ball always falls into the center of the cup because there’s no other place for it—just like there’s no other place for God except right at the center of everything. Not just SOME things but EVERYTHING—the good, the bad, the easy, the hard, the triumphs and of course the less than triumphant. That is a CENTRAL truth of the Christian faith and what God is trying to remind me with every penny I find—He is at the center of it all.
The rub is that the nature of any foundational truth is that it tends to be hard to hang onto in the dailiness of life. We’re so conditioned to look for God in the spectacular we don’t see Him in the center of everyday things. We’re like the prophet Elijah standing on the mountain expecting God to shout at us when God wants to be known for His still small voice. What is He saying?
I got this—ALL OF THIS. Nothing will happen in your life that hasn’t passed through my hands first.
This is my greatest penny epiphany and the reminder God wants me to tuck in my pocket every day. It’s a message that’s so much bigger than believing for the best or trusting He will provide. When we acknowledge that God is already at the center, we can move from a place of trying to control everything to a place of accepting whatever He allows.
I don’t know about you but for me that’s liberating. It tells me that everything I’m experiencing is all part of the process. I can let go with confidence that God is at work—stretching me into the person He wants me to be. All the change in my life over the last 13 years has most certainly proven that. While God has not healed me completely, He has without a doubt proven He will use whatever He allows to show His power and presence in the center of it all. You might not be a penny finder like me but I would guess if you look for it, God has ways He’s trying to reassure you He’s got your life covered too!