A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a situation only God could have saved me from. It wasn’t the most dramatic situation in the world, but it reminded me of how God is not just invested in the “big pictures” of our lives, but in the little details of our lives as well. He listens and answers the small prayers, even the ones we often find too insignificant to mention in the first place.
A couple of weeks ago, I lost my brand new cellphone in the middle of the Gillette Stadium parking lot. (If you click on the link, you’ll understand why I was so worried. The lot is HUGE!) This had also occurred at night, during a fierce rainstorm. The weather was so bad that my glasses were fogging up and it was difficult for me to see anything. My phone had dropped out of my hand while I was racing towards the car in an attempt to avoid getting soaked by the rain. I had only realized my phone was missing after I had left the Gillette Stadium. Imagine how panicked I was! How would I be able to find my phone in the middle of this dark parking lot during a rainstorm? For all I knew, my phone could have been at the bottom of a pothole, completely submerged in one of the many puddles that had already formed in the lot. Or it could have been run over by any of the cars driving in and out of the lot. It also could have been turned on silent, which would have made it 1000 times more difficult to locate. But, God works in funny ways. And even though I didn’t know how I’d ever be able to find my phone in one piece, I ended up finding it that way. It was safe and sound- at the bottom of a puddle, of course- but it was fine. (Thank God for waterproof phones.)
There is one important detail that I left out of the story, and this detail is what stuck with me for the rest of the night. What I didn’t tell you is that I actually heard my phone drop. Despite hearing the sound, I didn’t stop; I kept running towards the car to avoid getting wet in the rain. Let me explain myself though.
You see, while I running, I had heard a loud “THUD!” The only thing is, I had no clue it was the sound of my phone dropping. On the contrary, I thought my brother (who was also running alongside me to avoid being soaked by the rain) had dropped his cup of salsa from the bag of Mexican takeout he was holding in his hand. Yup, I thought the sound of my phone dropping was just the sound of his cup of salsa dropping out of his bag. I laughed at him, and shouted above the loud rain and the noise of surrounding cars, “I think you dropped your salsa on the ground! Hahaha! How are you going to eat your chips now? They’ll be flavorless! Hahaha!” Little had I known, one of my most valuable possessions was what had actually hit the ground.
The irony in this story- me laughing at my brother because I thought he had lost something, only to find out later that I was the one who had lost something- really made me think. How many times have we, as Christians, been so focused on someone else’s situation that we never stopped to assess our own? How many times have we seen a fellow Christian fall short in some way, and instead of offering some guidance or wholehearted support, we chuckle and secretly think to ourselves, “I’m glad that wasn’t me.” This experience truly opened up my eyes to all those times where I focused on someone else not having it all together, even though in those moments, I didn’t have it all together either. That night, I was so caught up in making fun of my brother and laughing at the idea of him having to eat flavorless chips because he “lost his salsa,” that I didn’t even realize the salsa wasn’t the issue at hand. His salsa was safe inside his bag. It was my own cell phone that had just fallen. He had his things together. I was the one in trouble.
This story, though simple, also shows how wonderful God is. Even though I was so focused on laughing at my brother and his misfortune, God still allowed me to find my cell phone when I realized that’s what really dropped on the ground. It was the Lord who had caused my phone to be on ringing mode (it’s usually on silent mode) and it was the Lord who prevented any cars from crushing my phone as they sped in and out of the parking lot. This just goes to show that if you find yourself being that person who’s always so focused on other people’s issues and misfortunes, while never stopping to realize you have issues of your own that need to be addressed: there is hope. God is faithful. And He can help you resolve that struggle, just like He helped me find my cellphone. And in this experience, He helped me find something greater too: the realization that I need to work on bettering myself.
If you find yourself in the situation I just described and you would like to change, say this prayer with me:
Lord God, I thank You for Your faithfulness. I thank You that even in the times I fall, You remain faithful and are willing to help me back up again. Please help me to not stay focused on the storms in other people’s lives, especially if I have no intention of positive contribution. Allow me to see my own issues and faults clearly so that I may work on them with Your help, rather than look at the faults of others. Help me to glorify You by minding my own business in the situations where You ask me to. Thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
And lastly friends, I leave you with this verse to meditate on:
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:11