While I was desperately trying to fix the zipper on my Quiksilver hoodie sweatshirt, back in late September '08, God thought it was the right time to teach me something about Himself.
But before I get to that, let me tell you about all the great times I’ve had with my sweatshirt, just to put some context on my feelings now that the zipper's stuck:
+ my grandma bought it for me like 3 years ago, because she knew that my family doesn't have enough money to buy brand-name clothing
+ I wore it to school almost every day of the cold weather for practically my entire sophomore, junior, and senior year
+ this sweatshirt has been with me through my first job, youth group retreats, summer camps, family reunions, and even to Mexico
Not surprisingly, the wear and tear gradually wore away at the little tab attached to the zipper contraption, and finally the tab (not the zipper itself) broke off while I was zipping it up or down—I didn't realize it at the time—and now the tiny piece of metal is lying on the ground somewhere, hopelessly lost to the travesty of mortality.
So that's just a piece of the tight bond that my sweatshirt and I have formed. You could say that if it's possible to love an inanimate object, then this is as close as you can get. So imagine my frustration, despair, and general sense of sadness that I feel, holding the weak and wounded sweatshirt in my arms. Well, maybe not weak and wounded, but the zipper is definitely stuck without a tab to pull it with.
Nathan Snook (my roommate) joked, "Would you like a hand there?" Of course I didn't want his help. It’s MY sweatshirt, and he has no idea how I feel about it. I sit for several minutes, feverishly tugging and fiddling with the zipper, trying to open the sweatshirt so that even if I can't zip it up and down, at least I can wear it.
But the zipper just won't budge. It’s not even stuck in the cloth along the edge of the zipper edge like you might think—that would've been easy to fix. But for some reason, the metal itself is simply immovable.
So my reply to Nathan is, "No, I don't need a hand. I'm not going to give up on this until it's finally fixed again."
This is right about the time that I heard the Spirit of God. I didn't really hear an audible voice in my ears...I’m pretty sure that I do NOT have the gift of prophecy. But I can occasionally "hear" words in my heart, and that's how I’d describe how I felt God say to me, "Shane, do I love you more than you love your sweatshirt?"
What else can you say to that? "Yes, Lord, you probably love me like infinity times how much I love my sweatshirt."
And in the quiet of my heart, I knew what He was getting at. If God loves me more than I love my sweatshirt, then He will never, ever, EVER give up on me. And that's a promise that will never break.
Philippians 1:4-6 says, "(4) In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy (5) because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, (6) being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
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Author's note: Yes, this is another "rerun" of a previously-written Facebook note, but I think it's one of my better musings.