by Linda Cox

“Excuse me, Miss. I need some silverware please.”

The look on the waitress’s face told me she honestly thought she’d brought silverware to our table since my friend had some. But she kindly brought more so I could eat my meal. No big deal.

And then I went home.

My friend had given me a Christmas present which I had opened at the restaurant. Once home, I removed everything from the box, including the wadded up wrapping paper—and, much to my dismay, the silverware, which had been “hiding” in the wrapping paper.

Oh great. I had just lifted a restaurant’s silverware—on Christmas Eve, no less.

After I called my friend so she could have her daily dose of laughter, I called the restaurant and assured them I’d be returning their silverware.

Being one to never waste an opportunity, I just knew there had to be a lesson hidden in this. I discovered it as I read a devotional that afternoon. It wasn’t what I was really looking for but it made me smile as I thought about it.

Think about Zephaniah 3:17-18. God will sing and rejoice over us! Imperfect human beings though we are, He loves us. He cares for us. AND He rejoices over us—something He is able to do because He has covered us with His forgiveness.

Somehow I think my silverware “heist” falls into one of those instances in our lives when God simply delights in being ‘at the festival’ with us. His face brightens when He looks at us. He gets a kick out of us. Maybe He even laughs and rejoices as He shakes His head and says, “That’s My child!”

So next time you do something “stupid” like I just did, relax, have a good laugh with the rejoicing God who loves and forgives you . . . and make sure you return the silverware.

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but she occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson),The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents(Write Integrity), Love Is a Verb (a devotional from Bethany House), and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That. She lives on a farm with the “Bone Mafia,” her two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.