One year in March, my husband and son, Doug and Daniel, left for a ten-day mission trip to Mexico. I decided that our ten-month-old, Stephen, and I would take a trip to our home in Covelo. I was really excited to spend some time in the mountains. The forecast said the weather would be beautiful.
On the way out of the Covelo valley, we stopped to visit my friend Joyce. She said to be careful as I drove up the ten-mile dirt road to our house because it was now dark and rainy. As we neared the house, the rain turned into a light snow. We had asked God to be with us on our trip, and I knew He would be with us. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps. 34:7).
I was very thankful when we arrived home safely. Stephen was sleeping soundly in his car seat as we pulled into the carport. I decided to leave the van running so he could sleep as I unloaded our things. I left the van lights on to shine into the darkness. I took the first load into the house, placed the keys on the counter, and returned for a second load.
As I went to open the van’s sliding door, I found that it was locked. I wasn’t too worried because the van has an auto-lock system for the doors. I expected all the doors to be locked except the driver’s door. But then I tried that door. And it was locked too. I started to get a little concerned. I tried the trunk, thinking I might have released the back when I pulled into the carport. I knew I could just crawl over everything and unlock the doors. But it was locked as well! I walked toward the house, trying to calm myself.
Any calmness evaporated when I found the house door locked too! We have the old-fashioned lock that requires pushing in the button and twisting the lock. Apparently, I had forgotten to untwist it before coming back outside, because the door was still locked. I looked in the window, and there on the counter were the keys to the house.
I took a moment to assess. The van was running with heat and lights on, Stephen had woken up and was crying, all the doors to van and the house were locked, snow was falling, I was underdressed in a t-shirt with no coat, and my nearest neighbor lives over a mile away. I considered climbing to the upstairs deck, but I would have to try to climb the side of the house without a ladder. How would I get back down if that door was also locked?
It was time to pray again. I decided to check the back door to the house. I was sure it would be locked because I had locked it myself the last time we were here. That began the first of many miracles. Praise the Lord! The door was unlocked. I don’t remember it being unlocked before. But PTL, I was in!
I called Joyce and asked her to pray for us. She said they had just been praying for us in their family worship. Joyce said, “Karen, why don’t you use a coat hanger to try to unlock the car door? I’ve seen people do it all the time. I bet you can do it too.” So I got a hanger and went out to the van. I prayed to get in and at the same time not wreck the mechanics of the window. PTL! My second miracle took place. After several tries I was able to unlock the door.
Stephen was so glad to be out of that van! He hadn’t understood why he could see me and why I was not getting him out of the van. Just then our neighbor arrived. It had taken him twenty minutes to get to our house from his house. Joyce had called him to come and help me. I was so thankful he came. Poor Stephen wouldn’t let go of me; he had gotten all worked up.
Thankfully, my neighbor started a fire in the fireplace, and Stephen and I were able to calm down. I called Joyce back and thanked her for praying for us because God had been with us as He helped us tackle the “locked door experience.” “Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (Ps. 28:6, 7, NKJV).
Stephen and I had a good time for the rest of our vacation. He followed me everywhere he could in his walker. One day he tumbled out the door, down the step, and landed on his face. His lips swelled up so that he looked like a duck, but he healed just fine and without any scar. “Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matt. 10:29, NLT).
I am so thankful that God took care of us during those challenges, just as He cares for each of us where we are today and in all our challenges. When we invite Him to be with us, He is present as we go about our everyday activities. Often we forget that God is present with us until we have a problem. Then we remember and ask Him to help us. But God is there to help us through all our daily activities.
A friend shared with me that she often asks God to show His love for her by sending her a rainbow. My first thought was, This is sunny California; there are not that many rainbows to be seen. She said to start asking for rainbows and God would send them to me. I was so surprised when I started to see rainbows reflect on the reflecting tape on stop signs and bumper stickers. I told her that I needed to see God’s love more frequently, so every green light I saw would be God sharing His love for me. And then I realized that those red lights are for my protection too. So I began to praise the Lord for the green, yellow, and red lights too. I believe the Lord wants us to praise Him and thank Him in all things, even in the things that slow us down. “In every thing give thanks: of this is the will for God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18, KJV). I have found such peace in Christ when I thank Him during the midst of difficult trials.
Many of us do not feel comfortable giving Bible studies. Some of us may not even know how to give a Bible study, but we can always share our personal experiences of how God works miracles in our daily lives. Sharing how God is present with us and through us in our everyday life helps to increase our faith in Him. These experiences can help others see new pictures of how God wants to dwell in them too. We gain confidence in His guidance and leading in our lives. “Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11, KJV). “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 136:1, NKJV).
Take a minute to read Psalm 136. God is working visibly for each one of you also. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes so we can see God’s presence in our daily lives. And let’s share it too!