As I approached life as usual, I ventured out shopping for America’s current currency of gold, toilet paper. We had gotten down to our last few rolls and the discovery of more gold was a must. See, I had driven around for weeks casually going to grocery stores as if nothing had changed. Every stop I made yielded no reward so I simply went to the next place and the next place to only leave empty handed.
Now, things were getting serious and I knew paper gold had to be discovered soon. My sister had been telling me I needed to get up early and go. I heard her, but I didn’t hear her. Surely the toilet paper distributors would soon send truck loads of toilet paper to the stores and things could go back to normal. Well, clearly I was wrong and she was right.
So now things are getting crucial. I left the house optimistic to visit Costco where I let the paper gold slip through my hands. That day, I felt strongly that the order of my stops was important and Costco was to be number one. As I headed to the store a more pressing need catapulted me to Walmart first. So after leaving Walmart, I headed to Costco and saw a man leaving with a basket of toilet paper and paper towel. I felt like I had hit the jackpot. There was no line to enter the store which to me was an added bonus because I will leave needed items behind before I stand in a long line. I think I got that from my dad. He always says, “I’m not going to wait in line to give you my money.” Now that I’m older I pretty much have adopted the same thinking. So, I gladly jumped out of the car, grabbed a basket and headed in to retrieve my prize. After my ten minute hike to the back of the store, a gentleman walked over to the pallet and grabbed the last one. Had I listened to my internal voice (Holy Spirit), I would have snagged the package before it was gone.
Two weeks later, I made my next attempt driving and praying that God would lead me to find some gold. As I’m driving I hear, “ I make a way in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:19) I swallow the word and head back to Costco. I walked in and back out empty handed. I began to become a little more concerned and prayed again and felt led to drive to Sam’s. Upon my arrival I saw a line outside the store to get in. Up until this time I had not dealt with waiting in line outside of a store and was highly turned off by the idea. But this time I followed that still small voice that said, “Go in.” So I parked the car and got in the line. Once again I heard, “I make a way in the wilderness.” Now you would think that I just leaned back into the Lord and stood in line with great confidence but nope that wasn’t the case. I found myself a little nervous now because of my prior experience. I began to see people coming out with paper gold and then began to think by the time I get inside, will there be enough left for me? But once again He reminded me of Isaiah 43:19. He didn’t scold me, He just reassured me. So long story short, I got in and there was plenty of toilet paper for me. I sighed a big breath of relief and made my purchase.
Then revelation began to flow. I began to see that we were in a serious moment of transition. I realized that I had approached a simple run to the store as I always had. You have a need, just run to the store and get it. At that moment, I became aware that life as I knew it was over at least for the moment. The shock of the situation connected me with the fact that I was literally experiencing the pains and discomfort of change.
I didn’t want to stand in line but the only way to get my need met was to do so. I definitely didn’t think I needed to make buying toilet paper spiritual but I did. I needed God’s leading to fulfill my basic needs. This helped me see what the new everyone is talking about on the other side of this crisis will feel like.
It will feel like you are lost. It will feel uncomfortable. At times you may resist and even become mad. You will long for things to be as they once were. Irritability may visit you more frequently than you like and you will be forced to learn new ways to do familiar things in order to survive. It will stretch you, and cause grow and expand you, if you let it.
The bigger lesson I learned was trust God with the very minute things when you can’t see your way, and in all things be led by the Spirit. I learned the importance of relying on Him more in this season than my catalog of life experiences, and to abandon the comfort that comes from mastered routines. I learned that this, new, will require a higher level of trust that follows the voice of God in all things. I’ve learned it’s His nature. It may appear that evil has been unharnessed, but if you endure, blessing and breakthrough are sure to come. (Galatians 6:9) So as we sit in a world where we seemingly have lost most control, God has not forgotten us and has a plan. He has never been defeated and seems to always show up in the 11th hour.
Author: Petrina Milan