Are you a “just in case” thinker?  Do you plan for any events, situations, or potential problems?  Do you try to envision what could possibly happen, and think of a way to deal with it ahead of time?  Remember in Toy Story, when Mrs Potato head is helping her husband pack, and she tells him to throw in his “angry eyes”…just in case?  That’s me.  I’m a “just in case” kinda gal.

We are a camping family.  Tent camping, actually.  I love it.  People are shocked when I say I love tent camping, and I understand why.  I like my manicures, my makeup and my maid.  (Wait!  I don’t have a maid!  Well, if I did, I’d love her too.)  I like the finer things in life, and the comforts of life.  So, I can understand why people are surprised to discover that I love to sleep with bugs, cook near dirt and smell like smoke for days.  But I do.   I love to camp.  There’s nothing like being outdoors in God’s splendor, having a front row seat for the precious morning sounds of birds and breezes, and living at a relaxed and quiet pace for a few days.  My corner of heaven will include a tent camping site.

We were camping last weekend at a lovely Ohio state park…West Branch.  Gorgeous!  One of the nicest campgrounds I’ve been to.  On my second day, the kids were off playing with new found friends, my husband hadn’t arrived yet (he usually comes a day after I do because of work commitments) and I was sitting in my chair, writing in my journal and enjoying the quiet time with God.  The weather was perfect…warm, clear and sunny.  I had my freshly French-pressed Starbucks coffee in hand and I was loving it.

A young girl, about 10 years old, rode up to me on her bike and said “Excuse me, I don’t want to interrupt you, but do you have a can opener?”  She was arrestingly polite and irresistibly cute.

Now, she obviously had no idea to whom she was speaking.

You see, one of the reasons I love to camp is that I am a “just in case” packer.  I feel so well equipped that I can fix, cook, clean, secure, store, adjust or hang anything.  I am an anal camping packer.  I bring EVERYTHING.  My packing list is 5 pages long.  Single spaced.  Two columns.  I have items on my list that I’ve never used, but I continue to bring, you know…just in case.  Like a can opener.  I did a secret happy dance when this girl asked me for one, because my “just in case” moment had arrived.

“Yes, I do!”  I could hardly contain my excitement, as I jumped from my chair and began to rummage through my kitchen supply box.  I produced a sparkling, never used can opener and proudly handed it to her.  Her face lit up.  I don’t know who was more excited…she, because she found what she was commissioned to find, or me because I was basking in my “just in case” joy.

That little episode was perhaps insignificant, but as I sat there reflecting on it, I gleaned a WHOLE pile of wisdom from it.  In Genesis chapter 22, Abraham learns first hand that God is a “just in case” God.  God requested Abraham to do the unthinkable:  sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son.  It was a test of Abraham’s faith, and he passed with high marks.  But God still required the sacrifice, and provided a ram as the one to be sacrificed, just in case Abraham would choose obedience.

God wants our obedience.  He sometimes will ask us to do things that seem ridiculous, insignificant or even impossible.  It’s hard.  It’s costly.  It’s inconvenient.  It’s senseless.  But when we obey Him, we will see the full glory of his “just in case” majesty which is usually demonstrated in great blessing to us.  He is delighted and he too basks in his “just in case” joy.

I know the analogy between a girl asking for a can opener and Abraham’s willingness to obey is probably a little weak.  But the parallel of my “just in case” joy and God’s “just in case” joy is pretty strong.  Bottom line: my obedience brings God joy.  And that’s my purpose in life.  Is it yours?

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