a collection of steps

Posts Tagged ‘belief’

Lost for Good

In believe, fear, focus, God, lessons, love, trust on September 26, 2009 at 11:46 am

They are quite a pair – deep red rubies nestled with shimmering diamond marquises in golden snowflakes.  The earrings were a special gift of love from my Mother, but soon became an object lesson of my Heavenly Father’s love.

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One morning, a few weeks after I received them, I woke to a nagging alarm clock and pushed myself through another morning routine.  Rattling off my mental list – lipstick, heels, lunch, jewelry – I grabbed the new earrings, tossed them into my suit jacket pocket and bolted down the 21 stairs from my apartment atop a restaurant in an old building.

I had managed to put one of the earrings in my left ear as I descended, but when I got out to the gravel parking lot, I reached in for the other and my finger slipped through a hole.

My racing heart smacked into a wall of fear. No way! I did not just lose that earring!  Where is it?! Is it in the gravel? I’ll never find it there!  Maybe on the staircase, I’ll go back…how stupid I am! Why did I put them in my pocket before checking for holes?! I have got to find that earring – I’ll break my Mother’s heart!

Hyperventilating, I ran to my car, stuffed my bags inside and quickly retraced my steps. Like a crazed madwoman I hunted for the missing jewels, scouring all 21 steps three times over. I went all the way back to the beginning of my day, mimicking my every move prior to the realization that my precious earring was gone.  Between screams at myself for being so foolish, I choked out, God! You can see it!  You can see everything! Please show me where it is! You know where it is God, please, please show me!

Every day for the next three months I begged and pleaded with God for its return. I even went so far as to suggest that He dispatch an angel for a swifter delivery!

The summer of ’94 cooled into a painful winter and my prayers became focused on a much bigger loss; another divorce. Crying myself to sleep one night I asked,  God, do You hear my prayers? Do you hear me? Do you care that my life is falling apart again?

His answer arrived unmistakably the next morning as I placed my bags in my car.  There on the freshly vacuumed carpet behind the driver’s seat was the missing earring.  I have never doubted his love and attention again.

I knew my earring had been lost for good.

Surprised?

In believe, faith, Jesus on September 8, 2009 at 10:13 am

As a child I was fascinated by the road.The Way Forward sign in the sky

We had a station wagon and relatives out west so in the summer we would pack it full and head that way for vacation. I managed to talk my Dad into letting me sit next to him by promising to be still.  No problem. My eyes were glued to his every move.

I caught on fairly fast that the road signs sometimes changed my Dad’s actions. If a sign had big numbers he would either slow down or speed up.  If the signs were green or brown, he might turn the wheel to the right and our wagon would curve in a big arc. That was cool because it made my little body lean real close to him and it wasn’t my fault.

Dad taught me what signs were for and how to read them. I’m grateful for that training as it really comes in handy when I’m the one behind the wheel. What I like about them is they tell.

Road signs tell me where I am, how to get where I’m going, warn me of dangers, measure my progress and build my anticipation. When signs are not there, I get lost.

This summer I began a journey through the Gospels of Jesus in my Bible. I’m now in Luke and today finished Chapter 2. My eyes are glued on what God is doing behind the wheel and a big sign is forming in my understanding: God provides clear signs for my safe travel.

God’s road signs started back in the Garden of Eden where he placed a big one that said, “Steer clear of this tree!” When they failed to heed that sign, He promised Eve that from her womb would come One Man who would cancel the curse of evil she and Adam were now under.  Throughout the subsequent years until that Man, Jesus Christ, was born, signs were there, telling, warning, measuring and building anticipation.

What I see now is how surprised everyone was when he finally arrived. Even his parents, after having one-on-one personal, supernatural visits from God’s angel, with clear instructions on what was about to happen and what to name the child, still marveled when shepherds rushed into the stable, prophets grabbed their child in the temple and openly  proclaimed his deity and kings showed up at their doorstep with gold. Am I saying they shouldn’t have marveled? No way. Who wouldn’t? Everything God does is marvelous.

But, as I read through the entire Gospel (it’s especially clearer in Mark), there is a pattern of surprise.

Surprise? Why? Did they not see the signs? Did they not read them? No. the signs pointing to the Messiah were well documented and taught throughout the generations. The problem was not in their lack of knowing, it was in their lack of believing. The surprise expressed by those who encountered Jesus was directly correlated to their level of belief or unbelief. It still is.

This lack of belief is what keeps floating to the surface in the Gospels. Near the beginning of his ministry Jesus comments on his disciple’s lack of belief and understanding. But as their time together increased, he became irritated, then incredulous and in the end hurt by their unbelief.

How convicting!  I have been an eye-witness to his incredible power both in my life and in others and still, after all these years of walking with him, I doubt!

Those who approached him with the faith of a child got what they asked for and he honored them openly for their belief. Those who tried to process his works and words through their logic, their pride or their ‘God-box’ were confused and/or offended.

Why are we surprised when God shows up? Believe the signs.