Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lost rings, a sick puppy, and a study in Genesis.

A couple of weeks ago, I experienced a really neat miracle....well maybe some wouldn't call it a miracle, but I will. For some, these kind of stories have no meaning...unless it is their ring that is lost!

On a particular Saturday we had to run into Kingston to purchase a keyboard for the team that would be arriving in the next couple of days. They would use it for their ministry and then bless the church with it when they departed.

On the way to Kingston I put on hand cream and inadvertently forgot to put my wedding rings back on. We traveled our one and a half hours, arrived at a very busy shopping center, jumped out, and proceeded to do our shopping. We were in the store for over an hour.

We came back to the car, jumped in, and proceeded to a fellow missionary's house for dinner. We got to their apartment and as we were chatting, I noticed my rings missing. I immediately went into panic mode. Den ran down three flights of stairs in record time and searched the car. Renee took the missionary's hands and my hands and simply prayed. Den returned from the car empty handed. At that point I remembered what I did. Instead of putting my rings on the console part of the car I put them between my legs when I put on the hand cream. When I initially jumped out of the car at the shopping center so did my rings.

My missionary colleague and I then went to the car and did a second search. I then ran back up the three sets of stairs and asked Den if we could drive back to the shopping center.

I knew by the look on his face that he thought it would be a waste of time and gas but reluctantly said ok. I guess we both knew that it would be a wild goose chase. Diamond rings are found by lucky people and don't remain in busy parking lots.

We quickly got in the car and drove in absolute silence. Both of us wondering if we would find them, both of us praying that God would again be merciful. Both of us realizing that even a cheap set would require more money than we have right now.

When we arrived at the very busy shopping center, there was no where to park so when Den drove toward the section where we had been parked, I jumped out. I walked past two cars and at the third one where I thought we had been parked I bent down and there behind the tire were my rings. I picked them up, dusted them off, and jumped into the car, it happened so fast that Den hadn’t even made the turn to come near the parked car where I was looking.

The rings were so close to the tire that it was a miracle they weren’t run over.

I got in the car and that is when the tears came. Den said this is a miracle. I said, He cares. He cares. He cares about the things that worry us. His intimate care once again shown for his children.

So here is the timeframe for someone to have found the rings. We initially arrived at the shopping center at 3:30, that is when I lost them. We returned to the shopping center at 5:30to look for them. God had them hidden from view for two hours, in a very busy plaza, in a very busy parking lot. God had them hidden just enough so no one saw them.

Only HIM.

I am grateful.

A funny note. When we were driving there besides praying, I was singing in my head, I left my rings in Sovereign center…to the tune of I left my heart in San Francisco…..

Just this week, Den's older brother called and asked for prayer for his dog. I know that kind of request makes people laugh but here is the story behind the request.

Inkie was the pet that Den's parents had before their deaths. Mom died in 2006, and Dad just passed away eight months ago. The brother that called lived with his parents and basically was their caregiver. He is very attached to Inkie, and with both of the parents gone now, I am sure Inkie is alot of company for him. After just saying goodbye to Dad, he is not ready to say goodbye to Inkie at this point.

The first vet said that it would be $2000 at least for surgery and such. Den's brother said that would be impossible for him financially, so the talk was of putting Inkie "down." He then took Inkie to a second vet, one that would discuss the surgery, if they would go that route. That vet said, Inkie's breed is known to have these problems with the back and legs. I think this is what you need to do. Inkie is 10 pounds overweight and needs exercise, so feed him less and get him walking.

That's it?

What an easy solution to something that was so serious to bring Inkie here in the first place!

People pray, God answers. Sometimes he answers in ways we like and sometimes we have to go down a difficult road. Still He cares. Still He answers.

A few weeks ago I started a study in Genesis. I read one chapter, meditate on it and write what God shows me. After I write my thoughts, I read the commentary for that chapter. This is what I wrote for Genesis 24. Genesis 24 is a love chapter, Rebekah's story. A story of God's direction, man's obedience, Isaac's grief, Rebekah's submission, Abraham's care for his son, and a servant's heart to please his master.

Rebekah had no idea that particular morning when she woke up, that it would be a day like none other. She had no idea that she was chosen on that day to become a wife. She woke up, did her daily routine, walked through her day, functioned as normal. She had no clue that someone was on the way to her town, to her well, to change her life forever.

It would appear to me that Rebekah lived her life without a script. She didn't have her day all planned out so that an interruption would totally throw her off kilter. She wasn't a control seeker. She would not appear to be driven by manipulation. The name, Rebekah, means beauty, favored, a mender, a binder, to tie, lovely, pure. Her name describes a really special person.

I can imagine that as she lived her life in those first, innocent days, that she was someone who walked uprightly and didn't ask for much.

As I have experienced God's intimate care I want to go back to a life of innocence. Just completely in love with Jesus. A life without cynicism and doubts. A heart that is not skeptical or pessimistic. I want to live a life that doesn't have my pre-planned script. I want to remember that Jesus, my friend, is near. He sees me, He knows where I am physically and emotionally. He sees my lost rings and guards them from all those who pass by.