Dietrich received some money and some gift cards for his birthday a couple weeks ago. He’s been dying to spend them since then, but we hadn’t been able to make the time to go to the store. Yesterday, as we were wrapping up a 3-day trip to see friends in the Phoenix area, we found ourselves near a Toys R Us so we stopped in to let Dietrich do some shopping.
After making his selection of a cool Lego cargo plane, Dietrich asked his mother to give him his money pouch. He had handed it to her a couple days earlier when we were at a bookstore. But she didn’t have it. She was sure she had given it back to him and told him to put it in the pocket of his shorts. Beginning to panic, he searched through all his pockets without success. He and I then went out and searched in the car around his seat and in the suitcase where his clothes for the trip were stored. Still no luck. By this point he was quite distraught, understandably so because none of us likes to lose money. He was still able to purchase the Lego plane using gift cards, but the joy of the new toy was dampened by the lost money. I could totally sympathize with his frustration and loss, but I couldn’t do anything to make the lost money reappear.
Doing what we could, we called the people we had stayed with and asked them to look for the money pouch. We even called the bookstore we had visited. The lost money didn’t turn up either place. We drove home trying to console Dietrich while helping him understand that these painful lessons are part of life’s learning process. That’s not much comfort to a 10-year-old though.
This morning as I was praying, I asked the Father to help us find the lost money, even though it seemed highly unlikely that we would. I couldn't think of any place we hadn't already looked for it that it was likely to be. I admit that I prayed without expectation, but not entirely without hope. Later I went out to move the car. After parking it I reached down to pick up a couple CDs we had left in the car. To my surprise and great delight I noticed Dietrich's money pouch sitting next to the CDs in a little basket between the front seats. I immediately thanked God. I felt like the woman in the parable who rejoices when she finds her lost coin.
Today’s lesson was a helpful, gentle reminder from my loving heavenly Father that he cares about the details of my life. Scripture tells me that he watches over the sparrows and that he has the hairs on my head numbered (a job that becomes easier each passing year!) Dietrich’s lost birthday money matters to him because Dietrich matters to him. He concerns himself no less with the affairs of my life. I am thankful that we have a God who cares about us and involves himself in the details of our lives. As the line from an old song says: “His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.”