One of the first things on my summer-to-do-list was to scrub the siding. I checked it off the list today. While I watered and scrubbed, Ed worked on the weed-eating (until it died, boo hoo), and we made it to church perfectly punctual. I prefer early but sometimes, we must settle for on time.
Why do I share this with you? Because sometimes, life throws a wrench into your plans and things change. Instead of spending the initial portion of the service in worship with our church family, we spent it in prayer driving into Mexico. You see, a dear and wonderful family needed help. Their loved one, their daddy, went to the store for something and hadn't returned yet. The family was concerned. While phone calls were made and strategic plans made, we jumped back in the car to help look for this great man.
I would like to say, "We found him right away", but I can't. As Ed and I drove in to Mexico, looking intently at each vehicle we passed in hopes we would see him. We drove by and in the parking lots to all the stores in town just in case he was sitting there, trying to remember why he was there or how to return to where he came from.
As we turned around and scanned the parking lots one last time while driving on Route 104 out of Mexico and towards New Haven, I found myself mentally back in history, twenty years prior. Emotion, fear, and "what ifs" started to flood by brain.
I share this morning's activity because there are some of you that may not be aware of this valuable resource and tool when vulnerable adults go missing. I also share this for another reason, to illustrate how God works in all situations and circumstances.
In April, 1994, my only sister disappeared from the D & W Convenience Store while working alone on Easter Sunday morning. Once I arrived at the store, I was frozen in time. Rain and snow pelted my cheeks to wipe away the tears. Others jumped in their cars to go aid in the search, I only stood and cried.
Today, as soon as I heard friends needed help locating their missing father, I responded and we started to search. I have no concept of time (similar to 94') but I remember the relief when the call came and we were able to help bring him home.
The greatest difference in all of this, my response. Twenty years ago I lacked a faith foundation. I relied on law enforcement, my parents, Ed, friends, volunteers, and media. Today, I relied on God! Before the front tires ever touched the road, we were praying for God to place a hedge of protection around our friends' Dad.
The moment his son's phone rang to say he had gotten lost, I lifted a praise to God. The one who protected and returned this wonderful man. Two decades later, we still wait and search for Heidi yet today was a reminder...God is everywhere, all the time, and in control.
I don't know why Heidi was kidnapped. I don't know why people go missing. BUT, I do know God is in charge and today instead of falling to my knees in tears because someone else close to me was missing, I was riding in the car and aiding in the search. (Before I even realized what was going on)
To see the relief on our friends' faces and watch the stress erase from their father's face when they embraced brought tears to my eyes. I'm thankful God used Ed and I this morning to help them. If someone told me I might do something like this, I would have said, "No, I'm not strong enough."
This is a true statement, I'm not strong enough but God always is.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.