For the past four months I have been part of a small church plant in the United States of America, and every week I had have the privilege of hearing testimony after testimony of the amazing work God is doing through this small local church.
Hearing these stories always serves to encourage me, and grow my faith for God can do through each one of us. As such, from now on, this column is going to be the mouthpiece for the expression of these stories. May they encourage and strengthen you to step out in faith in your own life and see the hand of God move mightily.
Today's story was written originally by Joy Phillips, it is reprinted here with her permission.
The story of today by: Joy Phillips
This story begins with the realisation that when I was out yesterday my wallet was not in my purse. It was not a major deal because I was on campus and so was my husband, Travis, so he just found me and gave me money. I figured one of my three children had pulled it out or something.
But, I couldn't find it last night when I got home either. Yikes.
Now, this is not unfamiliar territory for me...I have misplaced my wallet several times before. But in all those times, only once was it never recovered, and that one time it was stolen.
So while I may have a track record for losing it, I also have one for finding it! I began to retrace my steps and realised that the last place I remembered using it was at Costco last Saturday. The fact I made it from Saturday to the following Friday morning without using my wallet or even realizing it was gone is incredibly impressive and maybe a little scary.
But to show just how unshaken I was by the whole thing, on the morning I realised it was gone I got everyone ready to head out the door for a few errands, shoes on, snacks ready, purse in hand, before I realized, "Oh, I don't have my wallet still."
What ensued was something special, and something I want to always remember.
We dropped all our stuff, and I explained to the girls that Mummy didn't have her wallet and we couldn't go to run our errands. So for them, shoes came off and play continued.
I began to look everywhere: The car, other bags, the bedroom, the car again, the double stroller, the backyard, the garage, and on and on.
I called Costco, feeling really silly and asked, "Do you have a wallet in your lost and found that would have been left there almost a week ago?" Of course, they didn't have it.
So I pulled my three toddler- aged girls aside and said, "ok, we have to wait on the Lord and ask him to help us find Mummy's wallet." So we did, we prayed and then we waited. To be honest, I didn't hear anything from God--
But Ellie, my oldest who is only four, did... She said, "I felt like He said, OUTSIDE."
Ok. So I went back outside. Back to the car. Back to the double stroller. Back to the garage.
Half-heartedly looking at this point because I had already looked there - a lot!
Then I had the thought to text Kristen (a young woman who lives with us), who had been out of town since Sunday. I thought I'd ask if she'd seen it. She said she hadn't, but that she'd pray.
She texted back a couple of minutes later and said, "I felt like the Lord said...OUTSIDE."
So after that, I headed back outside with a little more conviction and determination...not to mention faith that yes, it was out there. (I have to admit I was also thinking..."outside" could mean ANYWHERE, like in a parking lot, on the street somewhere. But--I claimed the promise that God is for me and was going to help me find it!)
I go back to the car...then I look all around the front yard, back yard, side yard, around our trailer, back to the double stroller, and then my eye caught my single infant stroller that I hardly ever use...
But - I did use it at Costco.
I walk over to it, open it up...
And there sat my wallet in the folds of the top of the stroller.
I have to say that I was more ecstatic to go back inside and tell Ellie that SHE HEARD GOD than I was about finding my wallet. When I got to her to tell her she kind of gave me this look like, "why are you so surprised, of course that's where it was, that's where God said it would be."
So today, she learned that YES she hears God. (even though I think she already assumed that!)
But I also learned that...YES she, my four year old daughter, hears God.
Faith like a child
And I learned--I must have faith like a child. To wait on God, expect Him to speak, and then believe with all my heart that His word is a promise.
And it's always true. Praise God.
Thank you Lord for the way you work. You always have our best in mind. You are always training us, if we want it...even from the earliest age.
Ellie experienced first hand what it means to hear God's voice.
May it only get clearer and louder all her days.
Tina Hakimi is an Arizonian- Australian writer. She would love to drink a proper cappuccino at some point in the near future, but is hindered by her current planting in American soil. She enjoys writing as her only creative outlet, because unfortunately the Lord has not blessed her with a voice to sing (what she wishes could have been her creative outlet).
Tina Hakimi's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tina-hakimi.html