Your Prince of Peace Knows Your Shoe Size:
“….walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28
Recently, a very dear friend of mine, Alice gave me a card and a small glass shoe. On the front of the card were lots of shoes in different styles. Alice’s words to me when she gave me these were that, although I’m doing lots of different things, and that each of these things fit, the Lord has one specific, specially designed “shoe” that is designed just for me.
Alice had no idea just how accurate and encouraging this prophetic word was, as I was in the process of applying for a job; one that I have secretly wanted for a few years now.
As I looked at the sweet little shoe in my hand, I thought of Cinderella, and how her prince searched the length and breadth of the land to find her because of all the thousands of women in the kingdom, hers was the only foot that would fit into that glass slipper.
I had felt a little like Cinderella in my most self pitying moments, since I lost my job nine years ago, and struggled to find another.
But, I told myself, if the Lord had earmarked that job for me, then it didn’t matter how many smarter, better qualified or younger people applied, the shoe would fit me! I felt encouraged. Energised with new hope!
I was invited for an interview for the job not long after my friend had given me this lovely gift.
On the morning of the interview, as I was getting dressed, I glanced at the glass slipper, and as I did, I felt the Holy Spirit say gently to me, “how will you respond if you don’t get the job?”
This threw me a bit. I had thought, or rather, hoped, that the glass slipper and prophetic word had meant that at last my long awaited prayers were going to be answered.
However, I thought about the question and said, hoping I meant it, “well, Lord if I don’t get it, it will be because that shoe doesn’t fit me. I’d rather not go through the next few years wearing someone else’s shoes”
Well, guess what? I didn’t get the job.
I’d love to tell you that I was absolutely fine when the prospective employer contacted me to let me know. But that wouldn’t be true. I cried for that whole day, and most of that night. I’m not one of those pretty cryers – I looked like I’d been in a boxing match after a couple of hours; my eyes just two slits in my puffy face, my nose beetroot red and shiny.
I tried telling myself that the shoe just wouldn’t have fitted, I quoted Romans 8:28 to myself, I tried to encourage myself in the Lord, like David did…but my words felt hollow even to my own ears; I just felt rejected, discarded, old and useless. In other words, full of self pity.
Then, the next morning as I opened my eyes, it was with those words from Matthew 11 from the Message version running through my mind, as clearly as if Jesus Himself was sitting on the side of our bed speaking them to me. (interestingly enough I don’t often read The Message version) “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” I picked up my Message Bible and read that beautiful invitation from Jesus again, to come to Him, letting the words was over me.
What a tremendous, incredible blessing to know that God truly knows us. He knows you better than you even know yourself.
He knows everything about you – how many hairs are on your head, what you’re going to say next, even before you’ve thought it, how many breaths you’ll take in your lifetime.
He knows what will fit you and what might seem, logically, to fit, but will cause you discomfort, pain or damage if you try to force it on when it isn’t meant for you.
I had really believed that job was the perfect fit for me. It seemed to make sense it every way. But I think now, even as I’m writing this, of Isaiah 55:8–9 “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Sometimes what we think seems logical or a forgone conclusion is not what God has in mind at all.
I think again of the Lord’s question to me on the morning of the job interview “how will you respond if you don’t get the job?” and I can feel the peace of God flood my soul as I respond again, this time truly meaning the words with all my heart;
“Why on earth would I want to wear someone else’s shoes, Lord, when you have the perfect ones made especially for me?”
Imagine if one of Cinderella’s stepsister’s had forced her too big foot into that glass slipper, and then tried to hobble her way around the palace. She probably could have done it. But before long it would have become clearly evident that she was wearing someone else’s shoes.
Wearing a pair of shoes that’s the wrong fit for you can cause problems that will effect the way you walk.
Shoes that are too small cause painful blisters. Shoes that are even a little bit too big cause aching arches – caused by the muscles tightening with every step you take in your too-big shoes, as your feet try to keep the shoe from slipping off. This can lead to chronic chronic inflammation of the arches and heels, causing a constant limp.
God has the perfect shoe for you, too. It’s yours, and will fit no one else the way it fits you. Don’t try to wear somebody else’s shoes, it isn’t worth the pain and discouragement that would come with it.
So, I’m still encouraged by my friend’s gift and her words. I’m enjoying the many different “shoes” I’m currently walking in, and will wait with excited anticipation for God’s timing, for that one, special shoe, that will be tailor made for me and no one else.
PS: Below are a couple of items from my Etsy shop, where I sell my handmade Bible verse inspired jewellery. To view the item in the shop, more photos, details etc, just click the wording under the photo – a link which will take you to the shop.