Why couldn’t I shake the image of the burgundy jacket? I know the Bible tells us not to worry about what to wear, so was God really steering me to wear that burgundy jacket? And if so, why?
As I prepare for any speaking event, prayer is always a central focus. So a couple of weeks ago when I was scheduled to speak at a ladies fall banquet, I did what I usually do. I prayed long and hard—for the women who would attend, for the message to be exactly what the Lord desired, for safety on the two-hour drive, and that the Lord would show up and show out. I also prayed long and hard for myself—that God would make me His instrument, that He would fill me with love for Him and for the ladies attending, and that I would hear His voice directing me. And, I prayed, too, for the sound system and the mics that seem too often to cause problems.
Every time I prayed for this particular event, however, I saw an image in my mind of a burgundy jacket hanging in my closet. It had been there a while and I hadn’t thought of it at all when considering what to wear. Instead, I thought, “Maybe I’ll wear the really cute pink sweater and scarf I just bought, or maybe the gorgeous blue top and long vest.” - again a new outfit. The burgundy tank and jacket hadn’t even been on my radar - that is, until I began to bathe the speaking opportunity in prayer. Then it seemed every time I prayed, God accompanied His internal directives of what to say, what Scriptures and stories to use and what transitions to include, with visions of the burgundy set. I didn’t argue the matter but wondered if God could really care about this little detail of my life. And, if he did, why was this jacket so important for this event and why couldn’t I shake the image of it?
When we packed the car, in went the books, my laptop and various other necessities. As I lay the hang-up clothes across the top of the black rolling suitcase, there was the burgundy jacket right on top. I wasn’t sure of the reasons, but I knew that’s what I’d be wearing into the church and onto the platform before a packed house. I didn’t worry about the style, the popularity, or the fact that the jacket was pulled from last year’s fall wardrobe. I just threw it on and wore it with wonder. Why was I really wearing this jacket? Did God really have a reason for the relentless impression?
Don and I arrived at the church early for a sound check. Jake, the young and friendly worship leader, met us at the front of the room with mic in hand. It was just what I prefer when given a choice—the ear-wrap around kind with a battery pack that clips to the waistband of slacks. I took the battery pack in hand and felt for the familiar clip. It wasn’t there. Jake explained that the battery pack would have to be placed in a pocket. I had no pockets on my slacks so that wouldn’t work….But wait!!
The battery pack could be put into the pocket of my jacket. The burgundy jacket the Lord had steered me to when I prayed. The burgundy jacket with the side pockets. The burgundy jacket which was the ONLY choice I’d considered that even had pockets. As I stood on the platform that night I stood with confidence, not in myself or in my own abilities but confidence in the Lord. Confident that He cares about every little detail of every speaking event—what I will say, what the audience will hear, every little detail including, on some occasions, even what I should wear.
I’m so thankful that God cares about every detail of our lives. What about you? Do you have a “burgundy jacket” story of your own? If so, I would love to hear how God has shown His care for you. This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to the one who will “meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)