The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Although we were a bit nervous at the start of it. Ten minutes into our trip moving from Ohio to Oregon, one of our 3 year old girls asked, “Are we almost there?” This was not a good sign knowing that we would be traveling for 6 days. Then within 10 minutes of that our other 3 year old got sick. Not good. Fortunately, it was a one time occurance. The journey was long, but we enjoyed the trip as a family taking in beautiful scenery and learning new travel games.
Our second week in Oregon was spent with a group of almost 50 senior high students at a camp in central Oregon. It was beautiful traveling through the mountains and actually swimming in a mountain lake. I’ve never seen water so clear. It was amazing and our whole family got to go! It was fun for our girls as well as a great way for our family to bond with the new students in our care.
In between trying to get our house in order, we have been trying to soak in what Oregon has to offer. Last week we took the girls to the Oregon zoo which is simply amazing. This week we spent a day on the coast, playing in the Pacific and watching a beautiful sunset. The girls loved it and especially loved the opportunity to feed some seals.
This brings me to an amazing thing that happened. After a full day spent at the beach and the shops that are there, we prepared to go home. It was only after the sun went down that I realized I didn’t have my keys. I asked my wife if she had them, but she didn’t. Anxious thoughts filled my mind as I realized that my keys most likely fell out when one of the girls hats was pulled out of my pocket. On the beach! It was a horrible feeling going back down to the beach with the sun already set, four little girls in tow. We tried to comb all the areas of the beach where we had been, but as you can imagine, looking for keys in the sand at nightfall is not an easy task.
I had no idea what we were going to do as my wife’s keys were back home over an hour away. My little girls were cold and scared and even though I had no clue what we were going to do, I kept telling them, “Don’t be scared, just pray.” (I remembered the fear they had because as a small boy I was afraid I would be forever stranded when my dad locked the keys in the car.)
They had some great questions – “Why doesn’t God just tell us where they are.” It was an awesome opportunity to teach them about faith. We didn’t find them. As we headed back to our van I prayed for a miracle. Right after I prayed that prayer and within a few feet of our van, the alarm started to go off. It took me by surprise and I looked around to see a man approaching us from across the street. “You missing something?” he asked, holding my keys in his hand. I was floored! I went on to express to him how we had spent the last half hour combing the beach looking for them in between many many thank yous. He had found them not far from where the van had been, in a place I had been sitting earlier with the girls.
That’s not the end of it though. He had found the keys, saw the van and figured it must be a family and with the out of state plates thought that we would really need them so he waited 2 hours for us to return to the van! Wow! Thank you Lord!
It was an awesome experience for our family and we had a time of thanksgiving right there by the van. It was so cool to point out to the girls that we couldn’t find our keys, but God brought them to us. What a reminder of how we may fret the small stuff, but He is always in control and always faithful and the only thing that changes is our focus. May we not lose our focus due to comfort or circumstance. Help me to remember that Lord and keep my eyes fixed on you.