When I was packing my boxes to be shipped to Taiwan (almost 2 years ago!), I had planned to safeguard my valuables with bubble wrap. Instead, I used towels.
These were towels that I had accumulated since college: some that I bought for my college dorm room, some old extras that my mom gave me when I moved to KY, and a set of nicer matching ones that I purchased for my first home. I was not planning to take all of these towels to Taiwan; after all, I knew I was moving to an apartment with very limited storage space. What could one single girl do with that many towels?
But, frugality won against overpriced bubble wrap, and the towels came with me.
And I have been so grateful.
Apparently, God (whom I believe plans and provides for even our little needs) knew that I would have more need for towels in Taiwan than ever before in my life. Am I taking more showers? Nope. Am I entertaining guests more often? Not really. But I have certainly used my towels.
The first time I needed them, they weren’t here yet. That was during Typhoon Morakot in Aug. 2009. By the end of that event, my hands were raw from wringing out the four towels I had here (borrowed from friends) that were holding back the flood waters from overtaking my house.
In Sept. 2010, when Typhoon Fanapi made a last minute detour to crash into southern Taiwan, I was incredibly thankful for my towels. This time, I was prepared, and it was a lot easier to keep the rain water outside where it belonged.
Most recently, I had a catastrophic run-in with the washing machine when it decided that there was no need to stop filling with water at the beginning of the cycle. As I watched water flow out of my laundry room to spread across the dining room and living room, and even into the kitchen and bedroom, I crashed into the spare bedroom and threw open the plastic bin of towels. I didn’t even look to see what I had grabbed; I had those towels on the floor in no time, making a barrier between the water and the rest of the house.
Each of these events were crazy, frustrating, and stressful. Yet, as I was folding two laundry loads full of towels (finally cleaned after the washing machine was repaired), I could not help but realize the significance of my tower of towels. I smiled as I thought about how I had worried about what I would do with the towels when I got to Taiwan. My plan was to leave them because I was sure I wouldn’t need them. But even in something as insignificant as an overabundance of towels, God had a plan and knew my needs. I am so thankful for my towels now, but more importantly, I am thankful that God knows our needs, provides for them, and sometimes even does it with a bit of ironic humor to keep us paying attention. One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 19:21 which says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” I am unendingly grateful for God working His purpose in my life…
…but hey God, now that I’ve learned my lesson, I’d love to not have to use my towels so often. *smile*