Maybe you know the first round of such a loss, including the rounds that follow:
- Round 1: "Hmm... my wallet isn't where I left it. Aw well, it's probably in one of the other two or three places I usually throw it down."
- Round 2: "That's weird. It's not in any of those places. Well... maybe it's in what I was wearing the other day. Let's see, is that in the washer or hamper... or on the floor next to the bed...?"
- Round 3: "Okay.... where the heck is my wallet? I guess I need to check the car or van. Maybe I left it in there."
- Round 4: "HEY CAN SOMEONE LOOK UNDER THE COUCH FOR ME WHILE I LIFT IT UP?"
- Round 5:
(someone else) "Where was the last place you had it?"
(me, internally) "Brilliant. Why didn't I ask myself that question? The last place I had it is where it would be, Einstein."
(me, out loud) "I have no idea."
- Round 6: "Hey, boys? Can you help Dad look for his wallet?"
- Round 7: "I guess you have to drive us there, because I don't have my wallet."
- Round 8: "Hi, I was outside your store the other day renting a movie from the Blockbuster kiosk. Did anyone happen to find a wallet and turn it in yesterday or today?"
- Round 9: "SERIOUSLY! CAN SOMEONE LOOK AGAIN UNDER THE COUCH WHILE I LIFT IT UP?"
- Round 10: (praying) "God, I am so hosed. I'm going to give this two more hours. I'm going to tear apart anything movable in the car and van... rip the sheets off the bed... turn the hamper upside down... because I am out of options and am worrying my head off about identity theft and someone draining our checking, savings, and everything in between. Seriously, God, I don't say 'suck' that often but that would really suck."
(pause, spontaneously recalls a Bible verse... for some reason)
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? - Jesus, in Matthew "something"
(me) "Oh... yeah. So... God... I don't want to worry about this. I mean, I know there are things I will need to do if I can't find my wallet. I also know there are some real issues I may have to deal with identity theft. But, you know what... I don't want to worry and I know you can help me with that. So I'd like to find it, but whether I do or don't I'm going to trust You with this completely, no matter how it turns out. That's that."
- Round 11: (five minutes after that prayer, now speaking to self) "Okay... I need to tear out all the stuff in my trunk... and then the backseat... and then..."
(text message sound on my phone goes off)
(to self) "I wonder who that is."
(the text message is from Twitter, updating me about someone mentioning my name in a post. "Whatever," I think. Then I look below it at another text I missed from five minutes earlier - it was Katie texting me to tell me she found my wallet. You know, right about when I was praying.)
By no means am I proposing that when you pray "everything works out like you want it to."
I can say that there have been significant, clear times that I have shifted my perspective to trust in God in incredibly hard situations and this has happened. Maybe I was in a long season of waiting on something to change - or what just seemed like a long season because of the worry - and "nothing changed." It's not like I was asking for bad things... but I was asking God for "something" instead of merely finding my home in Him, "no matter what."
Once I did make that shift, though, there were significant moments were something almost instantaneously changed externally... perhaps because of what had shifted internally.
I don't know how all of this works. I wish this was a formula, but if it was it wouldn't be a relationship.
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)