I tore open the bag and slipped out the royal blue dress with sequins, beading, and fringe. I was looking forward to wearing it to my daughter Sarah’s bridal shower. My sister Danielle and sister-in-law Jodi were planning a fun, Great-Gatsby-themed party for her in my hometown of Louisville, Ohio. I pulled the dress down over my head and looked in the mirror. Uh oh. The dress was way too tight on my stomach and hips. I can’t wear this dress, I thought, the fit is all wrong.
Well, maybe I can exchange it for a larger size, I decided. I looked for a return slip in the package and couldn’t find it. I scoured my emails for the notice about the dress. Nothing. I had thrown away the delivery box and couldn’t even find the name of the company that sent the dress. I guess I’ll just have to find another dress, I concluded. Then it hit me. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).
So I prayed, “Lord, will you please provide a dress for me to wear? I would like something comfortable and modest and pretty. What would You like me to wear?”
I prayed that way because I didn’t want “finding a dress” to be a distraction during this happy time. I prayed that way because I know the Lord loves me and cares about me and interests Himself in even the little details of our lives. I prayed that way because I want to dress for Him. Little did I know that He was going to teach me some important lessons about “the perfect fit.” Here is what He showed me:
The Lord can do way beyond what we try to do for ourselves.
I wish I could say I dropped the issue after my prayer. In a sense, I did wait for God to answer, but in another sense, I tried to “help Him” provide an answer. I went to two different consignment stores, thinking, Maybe the dress God has for me is here. I even bought a low-priced dress from each store, but neither of them felt right when I wore them. I looked through my closet and found a plain, black dress that I could wear with some fancy jewelry. I even tried the blue dress on several times to see if it really was that bad (and it was). I drove up to Ohio with all four dresses in tow. I modeled all four of those dresses to my mom and Sarah, and we decided on the plain, black one. I could live with that, I thought, but it wasn’t the perfect fit. I knew it deep down.
The day before the shower, I got a call from my sister Danielle. “The dress I ordered for the party is too tight on me, and I’m not going to wear it. Would you like to try it?,” she said. “Sure, why not?,” I answered. We decided she would drop it off at my mom’s house, and I would swing by and try it on briefly before we drove to the party. I got ready in my plain, black dress and jewelry. “You look nice in that; I think that dress would be fine to wear,” my sister Jennifer said after I got ready at her house. But when we walked into my mom’s house and saw Danielle’s dress hanging on the china cabinet, Jennifer said, “Woah! You need to try on that dress!”
It was a beautiful, black, 1920s-style dress with black sequins and tiny multicolored beads that created lovely, intricate patterns all over the fabric. I went to another room to slip on the dress. When it slid over my head, it felt so comfortable. I liked the length and the style. I walked to the living room to look in a mirror there, and when I rounded the corner, my sister exclaimed, “That dress is beautiful on you, and it fits you perfectly! You have to wear that dress!” I looked in the mirror, and I knew God had provided the dress I was supposed to wear. We got in the car and drove to the bridal shower.
I learned from that experience that I should stop trying to “work things out” in my own strength. If I ask God to do something, He “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NASB). He always has “the perfect fit” in answer to our prayers. He can do so much more than we can do ourselves, and His plans are always “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NASB). He knows what is best for us because He knows us far more intimately than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-4). He wants us to trust Him, knowing He desires to bless us abundantly (Jeremiah 29:11).
The Lord’s perfect fit sometimes involves someone else.
Before my sister Danielle offered her lovely dress to me, I had offered my blue dress to her daughter Sydney. When Sydney arrived in that dress, everyone at the party noticed. It fit her perfectly, and she looked stunning in it with her red hair and beautiful complexion. Lots of people at the party told her how beautiful she looked, and it opened the door for conversations between her and the guests. I watched as she radiated beauty while interacting with the people at the party. I’m not just talking about how she looked. The dress created an opportunity to engage with Sydney, and when people did, they could see she was beautiful inside and out. It’s a tough world for teenagers these days. Most teens I know want to feel valued, loved, and accepted. The blue dress opened some doors for Sydney to experience those feelings. It was meant for her. It was her “perfect fit.”
Philippians 2:3-4, NASB, says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” In other words, sometimes, when life goes in an unexpected direction, it’s about someone else and not us. I rejoiced to see what God was doing for Sydney because my blue dress didn’t fit me. I’m going to ask God to help me see the bigger picture in all my disappointments, to show me someone He wants to bless through that situation. He always see the bigger picture, and I can trust Him when I don’t.
The Lord’s perfect fit is for our good and His glory.
I waited a while between the time of my prayer and God’s answer. He taught me so much during that time about waiting on Him. Psalm 27:14, NASB, says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” That word wait carries the idea of waiting confidently and expectantly. In other words, we put our confidence and expectation in God. We know He loves, protects, and provides for us, and we choose to hold onto Him and look to Him for our “perfect fit” in every situation. He is so faithful (Lamentations 3:23b).
When the Lord reveals Himself to us in that way, we catch a glimpse of His glory. He also tells us in His Word that He wants us to display His glory too (Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 3:18). He has given us gifts and has determined places He wants us to use those gifts in order to reveal Himself to others (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Any fruit that comes from those gifts is a direct result of our relationship with Jesus (John 15:5). All that we are and all that we have are meant to bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16).
Finding the right dress for a party isn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of life. But it was a big deal to me . . . because of what the Lord taught me through it. He reaches out to us in the big and small events of life because He wants an intimate relationship with each of us, because He loves us. In fact, He provided the perfect fit to our sin problem as evidence of His great love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB). Anyone can receive God’s free gift of salvation by believing in what Jesus did and by receiving Him as Lord and Savior. God’s solution is one size fits all: “ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12, NASB). Won’t you embrace His perfect fit today?
Question: How has the Lord provided a perfect fit in your life? Comment at the link below.
1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 12:2; Psalm 139:1-4; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 2:3-4; Psalm 27:14; Lamentations 3:23b; Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; John 15:5; Matthew 5:16; John 3:16; 1:12