I have crow’s feet: wrinkles, tiny or not so tiny, around my eyes. They can be caused by squinting, glaring, old age or smiling. Even though I am in my late 50s, I like to think mine were caused by smiling.
Someone close to me says they’re more like chicken feet. (I couldn’t help laughing.)
My crow’s feet have needed some attention for some time. Many times I planned on getting some magical un-wrinkling potion but kept forgetting…until I looked in the mirror. Dadgum it!
Finally, I was in the right place at the right time and stumbled on a cure. It was called “Rejuveness.” The back of the jar claimed miraculous things: “visibly reducing wrinkles and fine lines leaving skin firmer and younger looking in just two weeks.” (Maybe I should just rub it all over me!)
I raced home anxious to transform my late 50’s face with crow’s/chicken feet. I washed with my anti-aging renewal formula cleanser, but before I applied my moisturizer, I opened the jar of anti-wrinkle cream to put on my “smile marks”. I was excited! Finally, finally I had found the answer I had been looking for!
The texture was soft and smooth. This was going to be GREAT! But, when I dabbed it on, IT SMELLED EXACTLY LIKE BUGSPRAY! It was NOT the answer I had been looking for!
This is not the first time I’ve searched for answers that didn’t turn out like I expected. You might not have wrinkly skin, but I’m sure you’ve been there, too. I’ve also prayed prayers that were not answered as I hoped. How about you? Jeremiah 29:11 tells that God has a plan for us, gospel truth! But that plan sometimes goes through construction, takes a detour and reroutes!
At the jail, the girls there want one thing: TO GET OUT! After Bible study, during prayer time, they usually ask to pray specifically for that. I am reminded of one girl in particular…
Lisa (not her real name) came to Bible study one night. I had known her for years and was surprised to see her. Not too emotional or concerned, she assured me her being there was all a mistake. We sat through the lesson side by side on the front row. (I noticed her perfectly manicured red toenails.)
She went home in just a few days.
A week later she was back. This time she was different. Truth be told, Lisa had been doing drugs for over 20 years. No one knew. She had a public image and a private problem. She was a believer but still couldn’t break her addiction. She had prayed numerous times, “Lord, please help me! I can’t do this on my own!”
When she was arrested the first time it scared the fire out of Lisa. But not enough. Know what I mean? She was embarrassed but not devastated. That initial jail time was bad, but apparently not bad enough. She got out, continuing on the same path. One week later, she was arrested again. That’s what it took to get her attention.
Lisa served some time at the jail. She came each week to Bible study - PTL. When her court date came, she asked me to pray that she would get out on home incarceration. I said, “I will not.” She was shocked at my answer. I told her I WOULD pray for God to do what was the very best for her. In Lisa’s plan, she would be back at home so she could help her family, she said. That was sweet, but it would put her exactly back where she had been all along - same area, same friends, same access; she just couldn’t go outside.
What Lisa got instead of home incarceration was an in-house drug rehabilitation at another county jail. It would help her/force her to deal with her decades long addiction and build a foundation for a drug-free future. It worked! She was NOT excited at first but once there became a dedicated student and was even in the newspaper and on television as a graduate of the program! Hallelujah and praise the Name of the Lord! God answered Lisa’s prayer, but not the way she expected!
Jeremiah 33:3 reminds me, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.” I don’t always get what I want…and that’s not a bad thing! I have to trust that God is big enough to know what’s best for me. He sees tomorrow and around the corner, often giving me better than I ever dreamed (that’s the great and mighty part).
As far as my anti-wrinkle cream goes, I’m getting younger and firmer skin in two weeks…and…also keeping the bugs away!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.