“I have a present for you,” my sweet eighty-seven-year-old friend Almida told me over the phone one day.
Almida resides in an assisted-living facility. The pain in her hip is her constant companion, making an outing to any store a major ordeal. She’s frugal by necessity and has never been a believer in “good behavior” gifts. It wasn’t my birthday, and Christmas was long gone, so I couldn’t imagine what gift she might have for me.
“I’m going to give you my mink coat,” she answered in her heavy Russian accent, with a tone that suggested there would be no arguing.
“Willy bought it for me, but I have no place to wear it. You should have it now.” Her husband, Willy, had passed away nearly forty years before. I did some quick math and calculated that this coat must be fifty years old.
Oh dear, I thought. What in the world am I going to do with an ancient mink coat? This coat might be wildly out of style. It might be missing tufts of fur.
“Almida, I’m a foot taller than you and outweigh you by . . . a lot! I doubt your coat will fit me.”
“Of course it will.” There was that tone again.
Clearly, I wasn’t going to get out of it, so I decided that I would love that coat even if I couldn’t get into it, even if it was out of style, even if it had signs of wear. Better on me than in a landfill somewhere.
A couple months later, my speaking schedule landed me within an hour of Almida’s apartment.
She welcomed me in. Her face was full of what was either mischief or delight.
After a bit of chitchat, she went to the cloak closet and pulled out what looked like an oriental bathrobe.
Fur peeked out of the collar.
I held my breath.
“I don’t know if you will like it, but I want you to have it,” Almida said as she unwrapped it.
As she unpeeled the protective cloth covering, an immaculate, dark brown mink coat with a black fox trim appeared. It looked brand new and was such a classic style no one would ever guess its age.
I slipped into it and twirled in front of the mirror.
It was gorgeous!
I was gorgeous! It fit like it was meant for me. What a gift, and at the perfect time!
This mink coat was more than a kindness from Almida. It was a divine reminder of God’s love.
Throughout the previous months, I had begun to question God’s providence and leading. I had felt all alone and forgotten, as though I’d been dumped into the wilderness and left there to die.
God used Almida and this extravagant present to reassure me that I had not been forgotten at all.
It was as though God said, I see you, and I’ve got you covered, Robyn. In every way, I’m watching over you, and I have you covered.
Not what I expected. Not what I would have ever thought to ask for. It was SO much better!
God cares and sees you
And he’s showed up this way over and over. This time it was a mink coat. Other times it has been an encouraging card in the mail or a good report from the doctor.
God’s gifts may not look like what we expect.
Are you in a season of wondering if God cares about you or even sees you?
Does it seem like he led you into a wilderness and forgot where he left you?
He may not show up at your door with a mink coat, but his presents are always way beyond what we could ever imagine or hope for.
They are all around us. We need only cast our concerns on him. He is listening, and he cares deeply.
How has God has shown up for you in unexpected and perfectly-timed ways lately? Leave me a comment…I read all of them.
“According to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.” —Psalm 25:7
Father in heaven, thank you for the perfect reassurance and for your perfect timing. Even when I feel lost, you see me and have me covered with your love. I love you and trust you to fill in all the gaps and reassure me of your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.