Monday, October 4, 2010

Memorial Box Monday - God's Voice said, "Pick It Up!!"

Can I just say that I am sooo excited for Tuesday in the Denver area?  
In fact I am typing this in the middle of the night, as I just can't sleep.
{Now we are in Denver & so I can edit and post.
I ended up only getting 4 hours sleep last night, as I was so wide awake.
I typed this whole story, spent time with the Lord, etc.
I guess I was just too excited for tomorrow.
See previous post if you live anywhere near Denver.}

Boy do I have a miracle story to share.

 It is one of those stories where you have to just stand back and marvel at the
 clever and intricate direction and moving of Almighty God.  He is amazing!

Back in May of 2006 we went to our denominational convention in DC.  We were really tickled to be at our nation's capital....rich with history and heritage.   One of the afternoons we had decided to take the kids to the  Smithsonian.  We wanted them to see the Air & Space Museum there.  Dw and I had taken our older kids many, many years ago and thought the younger ones would enjoy it.  

A close friend, Dennis, had driven up from where we had once pastored to hang out with our family for the few days we were there.  He was with us at the Smithsonian.   Everyone was getting tired and we needed to get back for a quick rest before the evening sessions started.  

Dw was leading us out of the building and I thought, "Why is he taking us out the opposite side of the building from where we came in?"   It was odd.  I thought, "Now we will have that much further to walk."  

As Dw exited, he turned back over his shoulder and
called to us, "I'm going to hail a cab for all of us."  

Okay.

Good.

So Dennis and I and the kids were heading down the stairs.  The MS had really been acting up, so I was slow going as we headed down the bazillion stairs outside the building.   

Now as I was keeping my eye on Dw, I saw that there was a cab right below where we had exited.  But instead of going to that cab, he was running a few hundred feet down the sidewalk to where a cab had just pulled up.  I stood there for a second wondering what in the world he was doing.  Why had he not just went to the cab that was closer?  Actually I was getting a tad annoyed.  Walking was a chore and here he was going to a cab that was quite a bit further away. ugh  

The cab that had just pulled up and was letting a bunch of people out.  I, of course, was starting down all the stairs and so I was glancing and watching, but not really taking in details.  By now Dw had turned around to us and waved to "come on" cause the cabbie at that further away cab had agreed to take us. 

As we got down to the cab, Dw was telling Emma, Graham and Liberty to get in the back....and I was about the last one at the cab and just as I went to start to get in I glanced down and saw something on the road.  It was right next to the curb, but in the road.  

It was a pocket calendar, the rectangular kind, with the little plastic cover.  

I said to Dennis and said, "Oh look, someone's going to be bummed, they dropped their pocket calendar."   The kids were climbing in and I felt compelled to pick it up.  Then I thought, "Like I'm going to try to find whoever's it is and return it to them."  Naaah.  They wouldn't really miss it all that much.  

I literally went to put my foot in and I heard the Lord say, "Pick it up!"  

So I stepped back a step and reached and picked it up.

I climbed in the cab and we were off!  It was crowded and Liberty shuffled over onto my lap. 

Dw was talking to the driver up front.  I was talking to the kids as I decided to peek into the calendar and see if I could figure out whose calendar it was so I could return it.  The place inside the cover had a name. 

Only problem was that it was written in an Asian language.

 Oh brother.

That wasn't a lot of help to figure out how to return it to the rightful owner! 

I turned the pages.  There was lots of writing.  But not really anything in English.

Then I noticed in the little plastic flappy thingy that protects the cover a small envelope tucked in.  I pulled it out as we were driving down the highway.  I opened it up.

I gasped.

There was money.  

Lots of money.

Lots and lots of hundred dollar bills.

I am sure that my eyes were popping out of my noggin.

I said, "This thing is full of money."  

Dw turned around and stared at me.  "Are you serious?"
I started counting.  There was also a check.  Between the cash and the check there was almost





$3,000.00!!

I could not believe my eyes!!

And when I took a closer look at the check, it had the name of a church on it, meaning a church had given this check to a man...and I now assumed that the name on the check was the owner of the calendar. 

Have I ever told you guys that I always wanted to be a detective?

I've done my share of "detectiving" over the years and stinkin' love it!  

When I saw that the check was from a church, and the name of the person the check was written to was an Asian name I started praying. "Lord you have to help me find this person!"

We got back to the hotel and I tried to google the name of the church.  Nothing came up.  Then I tried to white pages it.  Nothing.  There was actually an accounting firm's name also on the check. I decided to goggle that.  My family went to get something to eat as I worked fervently to find out whose calendar I had found. 

A young woman answered and I asked if she had a minute while I explained this long, weird story.  She was clearly Asian, just listening to her sweet accent.   I explained that I was at a Pastor's convention as well.  She did not offer any thing but said, "Let me call you back" and took down my phone number.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I was really beginning to feel concerned for the person who had lost all this.  I began to pray that God would give them peace and that this calendar and envelope full of money would be quickly back in the hands that owned it.  

Finally my cell phone rang.  A woman, who spoke basically no English at all was speaking. I tried explaining to her what was going on, but she was unable to understand. She hung up and said someone else would call me.  

Eventually someone who spoke more fluent English called me.  And the story began to unfold.

Are you ready for this?

A pastor from a country that does not allow the gospel to be preached had come to our very own denomination's convention.  He is not a pastor in our denomination, but had been invited to come.  He is a pastor in a country that is closed to the gospel, yet he pastors an underground church.  And he oversees many, many underground churches.  He was a very well respected and influential man in his country - having been imprisoned for his faith and work for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I can hardly type about him without crying.  

This great man of God, brave and courageous in his country, had come here to the United States.  He was traveling and people had been giving to the work in his country.  And that was the pile of money. 

Well he had been taken to the Smithsonian to tour and see it.  Remember how Dw had gone to that far away cab?  He was one of the people who had just gotten out.  And as he got out he had dropped his pocket calendar.

He did not discover immediately that it was missing.  But when he did - he was frantic! He had absolutely no idea where he had lost it.  But God knew!!

 When he discovered it missing, he told the people he was with.  They immediately joined together and started to pray, "God please will YOU protect this calendar and money and return it to him."  They said that in the natural it was a long-shot, BUT God!

Yes, but God.

Our miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring, GASP-giving God had not allowed that envelope to rest in that street for anything more than probably 2 minutes....just long enough for us to get down to the street!

Okay, so are you ready for this?

When we were arranging the return of the calendar and money, it turns out that the man was not just staying at our same hotel - he was on the exact same floor as us!!  He and I rode the elevator down together!!

He didn't speak English and of course, I had no idea who I was looking for as I went down to the lobby.

Can you really imagine all the details that went into that being orchestrated by God?
My brain whirls when I think about it all!!  

I had the privilege of hugging this Great Man of God. He was weeping.  He was so grateful and kept crying and crying.  I was crying too.  Dw has a picture of me giving it to him on his computer and I am so thankful.  I will post the picture when he sets up and emails it to me.  And yes,  I was so ashamed that I had been aggravated at Dw going to that far away cab....to think that God was directing Dw's steps so that I could scoop up that calendar!

Rejoice with us!!
How God loves His children.
How He maneuvers events and circumstances to provide for  His own!!  

What about you?  What need do you have?  What concern overwhelms you?  Do you know that He is all about it?  He's working on your behalf.....just like that day in DC....He was working behind the scenes....because He loves you THAT much!  

Please link your permalink from your Memorial Box Monday story below.  Encourage others with your own stories of God's faithfulness!!

17 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. Oh Linny, what an amazing story! God is incredible the way He orders our steps. I'm so thankful that Dw knew which cab you all needed to ride in, and so thankful that you paused (even in your hurry) to listen to that still small voice saying, "Pick it up!" Things could have turned out so very differently . . . But GOD!!

    What a precious story of His faithfulness to all who put their trust in Him!!

    I love it! And I love you, too!

    Tina

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  2. wow...what an amazing story. Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that God loves to work in even all the small things in our lives! :0)

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  3. I heart this story and SOOO needed to hear that God can help even the in seemingly hopeless situations! Thanks for blogging.

    Have fun tomorrow :)

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  4. What an awesome God we serve.

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  5. Only God working through you and showing the gentleman that God is faithful all the time. Thank you for ensuring that these under-ground Christian churches are able to continue.

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  6. amazing God. WOW, such a kind and Gracious Father to provide not only as a lesson for you, but the funding and life changing experience for a pastor who pastors underground. Amazing GOD.... now why I can't apply that to my life?

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  7. what an amazing story. What an amazing man. I can't even imagine living in a country where you can't worship God openly. Breaks my heart.

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  8. Wow! That story gave me the shivers. Amazing. Not only amazing, but very encouraging. We have been in our rental for 3 months. I have not been able to locate our very new (1 year old)video camera. We still have boxes in the attic and I have been through every box at least twice, some more. God knows where that thing is, but I am sick about it. I can't even try to think about all the memories that are on that thing. I have just given it to Him. He is even teaching me about how I should be searching for Him everyday like I searched frantically for that video camera. Hard lessons to learn.

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  9. God is so awesome!!! I love it when a heavenly plan comes together!!!

    Bless you as continue to serve Him!

    Sandy in Iowa

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  10. i LOVE this. He is amazing. oh, if we would all just LISTEN so carefully! thank you for sharing!!

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  11. What a wonderful MBM story! These reminders of how God is involved in every detail of our lives, not matter how small or great, are awesome encouragements to me right now. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses us to serve the needs of others that have been praying and calling out to Him. Never. Thanks for sharing this one!

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  12. Amazing story - only God! But let me caution in you in putting up that photo...it may actually cause trouble for that pastor. People in countries that are closed to the gospel are often watched very closely. Posting a photo that can be seen by anyone in the world who can also read the story can be really dangerous for him.

    While we can all celebrate our amazing & surprising God and the incredible way He works through stories like these, its probably better to leave the photo off your blog.

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  13. Ha there is no long shot with God!! Wow what a powerful story of the way God works and guides our very steps!

    All the glory be to God!!!

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  14. Woow, wow and woooowww again! Girl you have already had so many experiences in your 52 years- amazing!!

    Can't wait to see the pics!

    And yes I was irritated with Dw, too. Makes me think I need to cut hubby more slack and not get in the way of God's plans!

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  15. Faithful God unfailing LOVE!!
    Thank you for sharing!!

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  16. Oh Linny-
    I have been to one of those closed countries and am ashamed of the life I live in the states when I see those families sacrifice for the gospel. I can't help but love any person of Asian decent when I see them in our small community. It is a God love I tell ya!

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.