Happy New Year, church family and friends!
Late last week my kids and I went to Target to return some duplicate items from the holidays. Our little one was particularly excited, as his popo (grandmother) had given him a Target gift card for Christmas. What a treasure, especially for a 6 year old! He was excitedly showing it to his brother in the car on the way there, and I advised him to put it away so it wouldn’t get lost.
All was well until we arrived at Target, and lo and behold – his gift card was missing from the gift card holder! Of course, there were tears shed as our youngest realized his card was gone, and I choked back an “I told you so” as I tried to put on an encouraging face for him. “It can’t be far,” I told him, “we haven’t even left the car!” We prayed that God would help us find his gift card, and for the next half hour we tore the car apart in the Target parking lot. It was a hot and sticky day –the only one of the week- and as sweat dripped down our faces, I gradually came to the conclusion that the card must have slipped into an inaccessible area behind the back seat. It was gone.
We quickly made our returns and headed home, all of us feeling rather glum. As we entered our house, putting items away and the like, I was shocked to see laying right in front of us, impossible to miss, right in the middle of the floor, our little one’s missing Target gift card. We had thought it was lost when it was safe in our house the entire time. Of course, our little one was overjoyed, I was relieved, his brother was happy, and our story has a good end.
This whole situation reminded me how we can spend a lot of time and energy trying to change or rectify a situation, looking for something or someone that’s lost, when none of that is truly needed in the moment. Instead, sometimes what we’re looking for waits for the right time and place to be revealed. For us, it was waiting at home.
These past 5 Sundays we’ve been celebrating the season of Advent, the part of the church year where we celebrate how Jesus came to earth to make his home in us, so that our home can be found in God. My prayer for you all in 2019 is that you make this the year you come home in a fuller way to yourself, to others, and to the God who searches for you, the God in whom every good thing is found.