The Challenge

Luke 1:37 "Nothing is impossible with God." NIV

The sun was already setting when I finally left work that summer day. I was tired, and as I drove towards the southern end of Tucson, I was looking forward to arriving at the cheery mobile home that my wife and I called home during that two-year period of our lives. I could already imagine my wife coming to greet me at the door. I would eat the supper she would have saved for me and sit down to relax in front of the TV. I smiled at the thought. Just a few more minutes . . .

But I was doomed for disappointment. When I arrived at our lot, the mobile home was completely dark. Curious! My wife, who was a student at the University of Arizona, had exams the next day. Why wasn't she at home studying? "She probably fell asleep," I reasoned. After all, she HAD been burning the candle at both ends lately! But my room-to-room search of the mobile home didn't reveal a sleepy student. In fact, it didn't reveal anything at all! The place was empty!

I wasn't left wondering long, however. Just a few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. My mouth dropped open in surprise as I opened it and saw my wife standing there! What was SHE doing KNOCKING? Why didn't she just use her key and come in?

But before I could ask those questions, she burst into tears, and my mouth dropped even farther. It was completely unlike my wife to cry-unless she was totally frustrated and VERY angry-usually at herself!

"What's wrong?" I asked, reaching out to comfort her.

"I-I lost my keys!" She stumbled.

Lost keys may seem like a rather small thing to some, but I could understand her tears. She had obviously lost precious study time that she didn't know how she could make up, and knowing her, she would be quite angry with herself for doing what she would term as "stupid"! To say nothing about the fact that we didn't live in the best part of Tucson, and the fear of what could happen if those keys fell into the wrong hands was very real.

"I needed a break," she continued, as if needing to explain herself. "I took the dog for a run on the desert. I had the keys in my hand when I left, but when I got back, they were gone!"

As the story unfolded, I began to get the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that if we asked God to help us, we would find those keys. This was totally unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I didn't know God at the time, and besides, I'M the one who usually panics about such things! When I opened my mouth, I didn't recognize the words that came out: "Don't worry. We'll find them!"

She shook her head, totally defeated. "I've been out with the neighbor and his metal detector. We retraced my entire route while it was still light. They are gone!"

Her words made logical sense, and I couldn't understand the peace I felt inside, and I had no idea why I then said, "Let's pray!"

"But . . .," she started to argue.

". . . And then we'll go out and have a look," I finished.

She looked at me as if I were crazy. "It's dark out there," she reminded me. "Remember, I was running out on the open dessert! No roads, no street lights! Only sand! There's no way we can find those keys in the dark. We couldn't even find them in the daytime with a metal detector!"

I couldn't have agreed more, yet something was pulling me to my knees anyway, and when my wife joined me, I stated simply: "God, help us find those keys!" Then I took her by the hand, grabbed a tiny flashlight and headed out onto the desert. My heart was strangely at peace. It was like I knew without any doubts that God would lead us to my wife's keys.

We had walked for about thirty minutes when my wife dropped behind. I was too intent on my search to pay attention to what she was doing, however, and a few moments later, I noticed a glitter in the sand. I bent over to have a closer look, but it was just my light shining off of a sand crystal. I was about to go on, when a voice said, "Put your hand into the sand!" I obeyed, and as I dug down about an inch, I felt something metallic: The missing keys! Completely buried by the sand!

Amazing isn't it? But it wasn't until later that I heard the truly amazing part of the story.

When my wife dropped behind me, she did so out of utter discouragement (can you blame her?). She later told me that just as she was mumbling to herself about how crazy and impossible this was, she heard a voice speaking into her heart: "You don't believe I can find the keys for you, do you?" Can anyone blame her that she shook her head and mumbled, "It's impossible!" But then she heard the voice in her heart again: "Ask and ye shall receive!" This time she stopped dead in her tracks and stared up at length into the starry night sky. Could it really be true? Then she nodded her head in determination. She had to try. "Yes, I believe you can find my keys!" She answered. At the exact moment that she looked back up from her short prayer, she saw me bend down and pull the keys out of the sand.

This may seem impossible to you. Even illogical. But God knew where those keys were, and that made all the difference in the world. As a result of this incident, we were both launched onto the road to discovering the amazing love of our God. We learned from personal, first-hand experience that everything is possible with God.

If you are having trouble believing in God, or believing that He cares about the everyday activities in your life, I would like to give you a little challenge. The next time you can't find something that is important to you, do a similar experiment. Stop in your tracks. Pray to God. Tell Him: "Dear God. I don't know if You exist or if You care, but I'm open to finding out. If You exist, if You DO really care, reveal Yourself to me! Show me where my ___ is. Guide me to it and I will believe. Thank You God. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Don't doubt. Give God an honest chance to prove Himself to you. You will be astonished. You WILL find what you are looking for! Why? Because God REALLY exists. He REALLY cares!

As God comes through for you (and He will!), would you do me the favor of emailing me your story?

"'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD." (Jer 29:13-14 NIV)

Rob Chaffart

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