The Misprint

A Fairly Straight Wake.

Treasure in the Typo

A line in an unfamiliar song brought me up short in church. It lodged in my mind and glittered there like a gaudily-dressed starlet, demanding my attention.
It was “I’m falling on my knees/offering all my needs.”
Yes, I trust Him. And yes, I depend on His provision, see traces of it on even my worst days. And yes, I bring my requests before Him in prayer. 
I’d never thought of my requests as an offering, though. Considering this concept, I turned to Scripture.
I read Philippians 4:6-8:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(NASB)

I read Matthew 6:28-33:

28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.(NASB)

I read Matthew 7:7-11:

 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!(NASB)


Praying on these verses, I began to see how my requests could be an offering to God. 

When I set aside my anxiety, demonstrating that I trust Him, He gives me His peace.
When I seek His kingdom, acknowledging His righteousness, He’ll provide for my needs.
When I humble myself before Him and ask, He will give me good things. 

My mind drifted over to occasions in my own life when I’d felt slighted by a lack of consultation. How many times at work had I said, “I could have helped you with that if you’d asked me?” How many times had I said to one of the kids, “I would have helped you if you’d called?” 

Twin insights dazzled me. First, I saw that bringing my requests before God honors His sovereignty, acknowledges His omniscience, declares my dependence on Him. Of course my requests are an offering! It all made sense now.

But then I wondered: When I feel wounded because I’m not asked to assist, am I assuming a position of superiority? Am I considering myself greater than the one I hoped to help? Do I feel worshiped when I’m called on to help? 

The thought was like a wreck beside the freeway. I didn’t want to look at it.

I couldn’t look away. 


This morning as I sat down to tell this story, I searched online for the song that had prompted my recognition of this uncomfortable truth about my own pride. 

The song is Hungry (Falling on my Knees) by Kathryn Scott. 

The lyric that prompted this reflection, this wonderful discovery about God and this ugly, painful discovery about myself, isn’t “offering all my needs.”

It’s “offering all of me.” That’s a whole different concept.

And I think, within that concept, I will find the cure for this sickness I’ve uncovered in myself. An opportunity to help someone is service to God, not some subtle display of my own abilities.


As usual, it’s not about me. It’s about Him. I needed that little error in the lyric sheet to remind me. 

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:2-3 (NASB)


Comments

  1. Oh Sheila…

    I love how God works through anything, even typos to make His thoughts known

    He will hold you tenderly as you process things…

  2. He can bring goodness from anything, can't He?

  3. A Joyful Noise :

    It is amazing how one word changed can make such a difference. All of Me, yes that is the way it should be. Your research was interesting too, as we present to God in an act of worship our needs and our-selves he accepts our offering!!

  4. emily wierenga :

    oh sheila. you don't know how i needed this today. thank you.

  5. Hazel, thanks.

  6. Emily, I'm honored you found something useful here. Thanks.

  7. Brandee Shafer :

    I love to read your heart, Sheila, and I'm glad for your misreading and discovering!

  8. Discovery is a gift, hmm, Brandee? Funny how He can use even a misprint on a lyric sheet to pull the scales from our eyes.

  9. Oh, those typos. We think they're mistakes, but not always…

  10. He can bring good even from poor typing, hmmm, Deidra? Good point!

  11. As one who has spent far too many hours on the mundane task of searching for typos in bulletins and powerpoint, it's nice to read that one proved helpful! You would not believe how people can pick up on the smallest error when it's in print and then complain about it. And to be honest, they bother me, too. But here's one that actually made a sort of sense and led you to scripture and self-examination, ultimately to life change. Pretty cool typo, I'd say.

  12. Oh, Diana, I would believe it! Did you see Lyla's FB post the other day about the bulletin announcement inviting women to a "sin-a-long"?? I am one of those people who notice every.little.thing.

    I agree. Cool typo, indeed.