All things are possible with God. Mark 10:27b
It surprised me how often I regretted leaving the yellow shopping bag of disposable placemats on a bench in the Atlanta Airport Rental Car Center.
I remember the forgotten bag the moment my preacher man and I walk into the airport terminal, two train stops away. By then, time is short. We can’t go back or we will miss our flight home to Oklahoma.
I was thinking ahead when I purchased the placemats at a cute shop in Macon GA earlier in the day. They were for a party we planned to host in two months. I’d made my party planning list, and I was marking it off. This purchase was supposed to be one and done.
And then I left them.
Instead of reading my book on the plane home, regrets busy my mind. I rehearse reasons why this minor glitch should not upset me.
- They are only paper (although elegant paper).
- I’m scheduled to return to Macon before the party.
- I can purchase them again.
- Why am I hung up on paper placemats?
- I didn’t get this upset when I left behind two dresser drawers of clothes in a hotel, at a seaside town in Italy.
Several times over the next few weeks, I sense the urge to pray about those abandoned placemats.
And then I analyze. It’s a random package left on a bench in one of the largest airports in the world. Nothing identifies it as mine. I live 1,000 miles away…
On and on I go, lassoing faith into a circle of doubt.
The only words I say aloud, “Lord, this is so complicated!”
One month later
My preacher man and I attend an event in North Carolina. My sister and her husband, who also live in Oklahoma, are there too.
She asks me where we’re going next, and I tell her.
“We’re going to DC to celebrate Thanksgiving with our children. And then, we’re going to Macon GA because I bought these placemats…”
I’m about to spill the sad story when she interrupts me with an astonishing announcement.
“Your placemats are in my car!”
“My placemats? The ones I left on a bench in the Atlanta airport?”
“How is that possible?”
A woman working at one of the rental car desks next to the bench where I left the package, decides to check on it. She usually calls security for abandoned bags, but since it was there all day, she picks it up.
The store name and phone number are on the receipt. She calls the shop and asks them if they remember who bought the placemats at their store earlier in the day.
The shop owner confuses me with my sister, Susan. So, she calls Susan, who’s traveling in Romania, and leaves a message.
“A woman located the placemats you left in the rental car center in Atlanta. I have her contact information so you can arrange to pick them up next time you fly through Atlanta.”
Susan wonders. What placemats? I don’t remember buying placemats.
She arranges to pick them up anyway, since everyone insists they belong to her.
Now, they are in her car, right there in North Carolina.
Exactly as God planned it.
All at once, I remember what I said to God, “Lord, this is so complicated!”
And in my spirit I hear Him reply.
“Is anything too hard for Me?”
Lest you think this story is only about paper placemats, let me assure you. God’s question penetrated into big, deep down dreams in my heart still awaiting fulfillment.
God asks Sarah the same question at a time when she doubts God will give her the child of her dreams (Genesis 18:14). He asks Jeremiah that exact question when he struggles over the destiny of Israel (Jeremiah 32:27).
And I wonder, if maybe today, He’s asking you too.
Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? Genesis 18:14a AMP
I’d love to hear what God is saying to you.