It had only been a year since my divorce. I was being careful about budgeting, taking toddling steps into an adulthood discipline at 37. That said, I’ve lived long enough to know that shelling out extra dollars for shoes and handbags typically paid off since the quality is so much better. So, I’d made the one-hour trek from my home in Anchorage to the nearby ski resort town, Girdwood, where I knew the resort gift shop carried good boots. I walked in and there they were—beautiful, bright red, Doc Marten-style, lambskin boots. Warm, comfortable, and unforgettably cute.
“Can I try these on in a size 7, please?”
“The red ones? Oh, everyone LOVES those boots. That’s actually the last pair and they’re size 2. I’m sorry. How about the ones next to them? The black ones in the same style.”
If I hadn’t seen the red ones, I would have been all over the black ones, so I tried to get excited about trying them on. “Yeah… Size 7, I guess. Please.”
My feet are really size 7-1/2 and the 7s were a little too snug. “Do you have a size 8?”
“Yeah, but they’re in the display down by the pool. Can you come back in a little while? We’ll bring them up to the store for you to try them on.”
“Sure. I was planning to go for a hike in the woods anyway. I’ll come back afterward.”
It was a bluebird Alaskan fall day. The kind that reminds you that you’re breathing because of the cool freshness of the air in your lungs. I walked, I talked to God, I enjoyed the trail with Him. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” what a glorious thought, God. All of this—you made it and I get to enjoy it.
It is beautiful, isn’t it? I’m enjoying you enjoying it… Ask me for something.
I want those red boots!!…Oh wait. No, no, no. That’s not a good answer. Ummm… I would like eyes to see the work you’re doing. Yeah, that’s a righteous kind of thing to ask for, right?
You already asked for that and I’ve already given it to you. Go on… ask me for something. What do you want? Honestly.
Ok, honestly… I’d really love those red boots. That’s what’s in my heart right at this moment. Red boots.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) Really? Every good and perfect gift? Many people I tell this story to are completely dismayed that when God told me to ask for something, I didn’t ask for world peace or parents for orphans—the Big Things. He’s not a genie granting one wish before disappearing. I have and continue to pray for peace, for Big Things (although I will admit my gifts are more in the small things at this point in time. This blog is called Trivial Circumstances for a reason.) But if every good and perfect gift is from Him, can’t I ask for those and red boots? There is no shadow with Him due to change—His goodness does not shift from one person to another, one situation to another. It pours out abundantly, filling my life to overflowing. His wealth poured out on me in one area of my life doesn’t detract from His goodness in another area, and it does not leave someone else impoverished. His goodness is beyond my capacity to contain. And His lavish giving challenges me to give lavishly—how can I not?
I wonder how these boots are going to come to me. They’re friggin expensive boots—I’ll blow my entire clothing budget for six months on them. Maybe someone will walk out of the resort and hand them to me for free…?
When I got back to the store and walked up to the counter, a box of boots was waiting for me. I opened it— they were red, and they fit perfectly. I paid for them and walked out wearing them, heart overflowing and tears in my eyes.
That was an amazing gesture of love, but it didn’t stop there. I had blown my budget on those boots. I needed a hat and a new bra. In my honest moments, I admitted that I also really wanted some new leggings. I eyed some cute slouchy hats and leggings everyone was raving about on Facebook. Oh well, I will be responsible. I don’t need leggings. I can live with the bras and hats I have a little longer. And I have red boots from God. I’m more than content. A few weeks after I got my boots, I went to a baby shower put on by a woman who owns a clothing boutique. I won a silly baby shower game. The prize? A bralette, a slouchy hat, and some matching leggings. The hat was aqua and the leggings were aqua and red, a perfect combination with my red boots. God didn’t just give me red boots, he gave me an outfit.
Every time I face difficulty and doubt God’s goodness, I think of my boots. I have much greater difficulties in my life than finding footwear. But now I know that, if God cares so much about what I’m wearing that he’ll give me an outfit of my heart’s desire, He will not let me go through greater difficulties unless they are worth it, for Him and for me. “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.” (Luke 12:27-30) If He is faithful in the small miracles, He will be faithful in the big ones, too. Him caring about my boots does not prevent Him from caring about my home, my job, my church, my city, the country, the world. My boots remind me that He can and will take care of the Big Things, too. Every good and perfect gift. All of it.