“Have you found the key yet?” My husband asked, frustrated.

 “No!” I answered 

 “Where have you looked? I’ve looked everywhere, but I can’t imagine where you might have put it.” He was dumbfounded.

 We were headed for the beach house for the weekend. A much needed get-away to regroup, read, talk, and just be.

 The problem was we lost the key! John was sure I had it last. I was not so sure.

 We looked everywhere. In the truck, coat pockets, luggage, jeans, miscellaneous clothing, but no key! 

John was desperate, so he started looking in weird places like under the mats in the truck, on the bench in the garage, in the mail “catch all”, cups full of pens, kitchen draws, desk draws.  He was being creative…trying to think like me!

 But no key! We were entrusted with the key, but we lost it! How embarrassing.

 The Beach House

 John built the A-frame beach house on the Oregon Coast for a friends of ours years ago. They have been more than generous to let us use it. How could we have lost the key!

 We were looking forward to our visit. The world falls away when we are there. It’s the place I go to in my mind when I am stuck in evening traffic, or life is just not how I pictured it and I need to recall a place of respite.

 Key Argument

 We were leaving the next day. I started packing. Then the Lord tells me:

 “Do the laundry.”

 Do laundry? No, I don’t need to. I did it yesterday and the few things in the basket I don’t need. I don’t plan to take them with me.

“Do the laundry.” I heard again.

 But there is not even a full load. I did it yesterday. I need to spend my time on other things to get ready. I argued back.

 “Do the laundry.” He said again.

 Hmm… He’s not going to give up. 

So I grabbed my jeans and started checking the pockets. Nothing deep in the pockets. But wait, what’s that stuck in the upper part of the front pocket? I pulled it out.

 The tag, clearly marked, “beach house.”  I did have the key!

When John got home, I showed him my find.

“Where was it?” He could not hide his annoyance.

“In my jeans pocket.” I answered.

He looked confused. “You mean the same jeans you have been wearing for the last two days!”

“Yes!”

“And you didn’t feel the key in your pocket!” He was flabbergasted.

“Well, it was stuck in the upper part of the pocket.”

“Unbelievable!” He shook his head, “no”. It was beginning to sink in. “You mean we have been praying and looking for the key and you have had it on your person all along!”

“Ay, yep! It must have been stuck there since last spring!”

“I can’t believe it! You had it all along.” He was walking away, shaking his head in exasperation.

Reflection

 We had prayed. If I had chosen not to listen, not to obey and do the laundry another day, I would have prevented the Lord’s answer to our prayer.

 Many times I don’t understand the answer to “why” until AFTER I have been obedient. I realized, once again, that I needed to trust Him in the process in order to reach the end result.

 Trusting in the little things builds my relationship with Him. Those times make way for the BIG things. Things that take longer, even years to accomplish.

Challenge

What prayers are you waiting on? Has the Lord asked you to do something that seems unrelated or doesn’t make sense?

Seek His heart. Ask Him if there is something He wants you to do now, today. Choose to respond with obedience; follow through on what you are hearing. Then trust Him. Only He knows the big picture and how your faithfulness today may lead to answered prayer.

Scripture

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”                                                                              Deuteronomy 5:33 (NIV)

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!”                                                                         James 1:22 (The Message)

“The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore correction and you’re lost for good.”        Proverbs 10:17   (The Message)                                                      

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit –fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”                                                     John 16:16 (NIV)