The past few days have been unusually sad for me as several people I cared about faced some tough situations. I had postponed sharing the following story in my blog because I was feeling their pain.
Then again, maybe in times like this, we also need to remember a faithful God and celebrate times when God showed up in powerful ways for He is a faithful God who is always there for us in both the good times and the sad times that we face in life.
I remember a particular time when I had this “keys thing” happen. I think it was “keys thing # 247” in my life. Here is how it all began… It was hot outside, and even though my body wasn’t too keen on the idea, I drove to our mall to get some much-needed exercise, in comfort. I pulled into the parking place closest to the door and got all prepared: car keys on my belt clip, peppy worship music on my iPhone, headsets in my ears, and prayer cards in my hands for the ultimate multi-tasking experience in hopes my body wouldn’t notice it was exercising.
I began mall walking at lightening speed (okay, maybe it was just a light speed.) Thirty minutes later, my body cried, “Enough,” and I eagerly checked off “Exercise” from the top of my TO DO list, and was ready to get on with my busy day.
At my car, I reached down to get my car keys from my belt clip, and to my horror, they were missing. I wondered, “On which of those two thousand steps through the mall had I dropped those keys?” I cried out my very favorite prayer, “Help, Lord” and then added, “Would you please show me where my keys are?”
Back I trotted into the mall! It dawned on me how impossible this search could be. My insistence on multitasking left me clueless to even which stores I had walked through. But my Father God is faithful, and on that particular morning He lovingly smiled at me, His kid in a predicament and flooded me with peace and confidence that He would lead me to the keys.
I dropped the multitasking and focused on listening to God’s quiet voice, a voice I continue to learn more how to discern. I began calmly walking where I sense He was leading way to the opposite end of the mall. All the while my body screamed, “Whoah. A half hour is my limit, you know!”
A shoe display at Macey’s entrance looked vaguely familiar, so I entered and continued to an unfamiliar looking aisle in the back, and then I just stopped. An unfamiliar sales clerk stood nearby and almost without thinking, I blurted out, “Have you seen any keys?”
“These?” she replied, and she held up my keys. What a surprise! I had no clue where my keys had fallen to the floor…but my loving Father did. He directed me to just the right location and prompted me to ask just the right person who had put them away out of sight.
This event really shouldn’t have surprised me because I have come to know God as one who cares about me, one of his kids, a God who delights in showing up in surprising ways. He told us to expect this in Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. “ I did a little thanksgiving dance. God came back with an encore by answering another important question rolling around in my head.
For on this day I was also asking not only where my keys were but also this question, “Lord, will You direct my path writing this book you’ve instructed me to write? Will you tell me what to say?”
I sensed God’s reassuring answer as I heard him speak through that small whisper inside, “Don’t worry. See, I directed your path to your car keys, and I’ll direct your path to complete our book, giving you the keys to finishing it. I’VE GOT YOU, so relax.”
Sometimes we get caught up in the big tragedies of life– Don and I have faced our share over the years, events like losing a child, heart attacks, two hip replacements, job downsizing, etc. Sometimes we struggle with whether God even cares about our day-to-day lives. And then there are those days when we have no doubt that God is good and He really does care about all the mundane things of life, things like finding finding lost keys. Once again, I am humbled and aware that there is a lot about God that I don’t know, but I do know that He is good.
And I know that there is a lot so much more of Him to experience, and I’m pressing in to know Him better until I draw my last breath (which I hope isn’t too soon.) How about you?