Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
A few weeks ago I lost my debit card, along with my Target debit card. This is a somewhat regular occurrence (maybe once or twice a year) because I don’t always keep them in my wallet. I carry a fairly large bag because I carry my calendar and notebooks around, so if I’m just running into a store I’ll put my debit card in my back pocket and occasionally it then travels to the laundry or other points unknown.
When I realized I didn’t have it on Monday, I started my search. I looked on my dresser where it should have been, I looked in drawers and I looked through the laundry and the pockets of all the pants I thought I had worn over the course of the week. Nothing. I looked in the car – maybe I had put them in the center console and they had fallen down. Nope. I looked in every nook and cranny of my bag in case I had tossed them in there casually. Nope. Where were they?!
By Tuesday I had to purchase incidentals and gas on my credit card, which I really don’t like to do because I’m trying to pay the credit card off, not add to it! Plus, to add insult to injury, the credit card was turned down because it had expired, so I had to have that purchase suspended, run home to grab the new card, activate it and run back to the store to complete the purchase! By Wednesday I had to purchase a birthday gift on the credit card and by Thursday when I was swiping my credit card for a $5 parking garage fee it really started to bother me again!
While losing a debit card (or two) is not one of life’s great tragedies, it is one of those annoying little inconveniences. I would have to order a new one from the bank and wait five days or so until I received a new one, which would have a new number. So every time I would go to make a future purchase on Amazon or another online retailer (OK, just Amazon) I’d have to enter a new card number. I was already anticipating the inner shame of an email informing me that my debit card was rejected from places that automatically draft from that account. And there was no way I was stepping foot in Target without my 5% discount!
No, I simply had to find those cards. On Saturday morning I was having a quiet, restful prayer time. That is a rare thing, as I’m sure it is for most parents – I am usually interrupted somewhere in the course of that time. Teaching my kids how to just wait if mommy is sitting in her chair, surrounded by her Bible and prayer journal and has her head to her hands as if she may be talking to God is something I have yet to master. I pray consistently and fervently about the bigger matters in life, but at the end of this particular prayer time I just sighed and said, “You know what God? I’m sorry, but can you just help me find those debit cards?! I just know they’re here somewhere.”
I looked in my jeans pocket again, but they weren’t there. Then I looked in my swim shorts, remembering that we had gone to the pool right after I used the cards last. And while I was looking in those shorts, it was as if God just said, “Oh, the debit cards! Sure, I can help you with that. Don’t you remember? You tucked them into the front pocket of your beach bag at the pool last week. Here, I’ll give you a clear mental picture of yourself doing that so you’ll remember. See? Remember, you even thought that you’d probably forget where you put them as you were putting them there. You were right – it was a safe spot.”
And that was it – I immediately go the beach bag out and got the cards. Relief!
Answers to prayers aren’t always so immediate, but wow, it is satisfying when they are. I just had to ask. It reminded me of when Little Miss Sunshine asked me last week, “Have you seen my glasses?” and I said, “Yes, they’re on the kitchen counter next to the bread box.” She just looked at me for a minute before replying, “I thought you’d say you’d help me look for them or something – they’ve been missing for a week!” I hadn’t considered them lost – that’s just where they were, so when she asked I was able to just tell her.
When Princess woke up that morning (oh, now I remember why I had that quiet time), she saw the card on the dresser and said, “Oh, you found them!” I had asked her about the cards in case she had been using them to play store or something. I happily responded, “Yes! I asked God where they were, and he showed me.” She replied with wonder, “God was here?” (The things one misses during a nap…) Yes!!