Monday afternoon, we picked up a white kitten whose mother had been hit by a car. Then, my husband got home early enough that we all went outside to work in the garden. I got my keys to open the back garage, then stuck them in my pocket while we planted rows of corn, burned a pile of branches, and did other work in the yard. In the midst of it all, our new kitten got stuck under the porch…not stuck physically, but she was fifteen feet from any of the edges and too terrified to come out. I spent well over an hour after dark, with a flashlight and bits of tuna on the end of a pipe cleaner, sticking them down through crack after crack, trying to lead her out, only to realize that the direction I’d chosen was blocked. I think it was nearly 11:00 when I finally got her out.
I spent another half hour cleaning her up a little and trying to calm her down and teach her to trust me, before I finally went to bed.
Tuesday morning, not long after I got up, I happened past my purse and noticed that my keys weren’t there. I immediately remembered putting them in my pants pocket and went to get them out.
They weren’t there.
I began running my mind over the evening before, trying to think of something else I may have done with them, while the devil started throwing thoughts of panic at me. What if they fell out of your pocket while you were leaning over the porch and a rat or something dragged them under there? You know that happens…how else did that Wendy’s cup and that paint roller get under there, where they couldn’t possibly blow on their own? Or what if they fell into the grass outside in the yard like they did two years ago? God might not show you where they are this time, and then you’ll have to spend $100 for new ones again.
As you can see, this isn’t the first time I’ve lost my keys. The first time, we never found them, and we did have to fork over that $100 for a new set. (Unfortunately, GM thinks it’s a good idea to put computer chips in keys, thereby making them ridiculously expensive to replace.) The second time, they were gone for two weeks before God pointed them out to my husband, just when he was about to run over them with the lawnmower.
I studiously avoided thinking about whether God’s patience and mercy with keys might have a limit. Instead, I focused on what I did know. One, the panic was definitely from the devil, so I could tell those thoughts to get lost. I took care of that. Two, God knew where those keys were. Lord, I prayed, Where are my keys? Will you tell me? I can’t remember doing anything with them after shoving them deeper into my pocket. Did I do something else with them, that I just forgot? Or did they fall out somewhere? Will You show me where they are?
I paused again to think, and that’s when I heard Him. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. That means: Seek Me first, and then this thing will be given to you.
I took a deep breath. Okay, Lord. I’ll spend time with You and spend time in my Bible. I will not worry about this. It is in Your hands.
So I ate breakfast, only occasionally having to give the devil’s thoughts a reminder smack out of my head. I got my kids started on their schoolwork, and I dug into Romans. I can’t say I found anything remarkably eye-opening, but there were plenty of reminders of amazing things God’s shown me in the past.
I finished and closed my Bible. Well, Father? Where are my keys?
I heard nothing. So I looked around me and saw two baskets of laundry waiting to be folded. I set to work folding clothes, praying in tongues all the while.
I worked my way through the first basket, and was halfway through the second when I heard Him, unmistakably.
You were wearing your jacket. Look in the right pocket.
I jumped up, ran to my jacket, and sure enough, the keys were there.
Perhaps I would have remembered my jacket and looked there on my own. Of course, I would have worn it again and discovered it. Eventually. But neither of those would have been wrapped in peace, and neither would have taught me and encouraged me the way that God did when I placed the situation in His hands, and went about solving it His way.
There are those who say that they don’t need God. There are others who would say that since I could have solved this problem on my own, I shouldn’t have bothered God with it.
But to me, this story is proof that God doesn’t agree with those people. He wants us to come to Him for every little thing. He craves our attention. He must come first in our lives, but when we put Him first, He delights in lavishing gifts upon us…gifts like peace and joy…gifts like telling us where our keys are, thereby saving us the grief and stress of days of searching…gifts that lift the stress from our shoulders and set us free to praise Him even more.
Living for God requires sacrifice, but it does not consist entirely of sacrifice. For the more we give Him, the more He gives us in return.
And our gift is always eclipsed by His.
3 thoughts on “An object lesson…”
lol. I read this, thought it was excellent, and forwarded it to Ben to read … and forgot to comment!
Great stuff! I love how this panned out for you. God is so right on every time. I love also how you applied “Seek first.” Amazing. (And I love how you’re clearly hearing His voice better – I know that has been a challenge in the past. 🙂 ) All in all – this really made me smile!
I love this post, Katie.
God is into every single minute detail of our lives!
Katie, This was a beautiful post. I am right there with you.. I talk to Papa about everything… including the things that are lost to me.. After all He does tell us He will direct our paths, right.
It’s amazing how He comes… I loved this post!
Thanks for sharing your heart!