Life Lessons in Lost Keys
“Oh, no…where did my keys go?” I think most of us have asked this question in a panic. I lost a set of keys months ago while in the midst of an engaging phone conversation. Distracted by the content of the call, I placed my keys on the kitchen counter rather than in their “special” spot. My intent was to retrieve them after the call. When I finished the phone conversation, however, the keys were no longer on the counter. Things do disappear with a toddler in the home!
I was determined to find them. After all, they had to be somewhere in the house! I looked everywhere: up and down, in and out, through every trash bag and behind every corner. No keys. I looked under every furniture item and through all the children’s toys. Still no keys.
Well, a few weeks ago – and literally nine months later – my son found the keys underneath the recliner in the living room. I had moved that very chair several times and had checked the creases and crevices countless times. Yet suddenly these keys appeared almost a year later. It seemed that there must be some meaning or message to the whole experience.
After all, how often are we looking for something that is right beneath us? How often do we assume that it is no longer worth looking or trying when we see no immediate result? And how often does God demonstrate that He works all things in His perfect time?
As simple as the story of missing keys may be, valuable life lessons lie within it:
First, we must release attachment to outcomes and instead place in God’s hands the outcomes and the means. He will allow people or things or experiences to surface at just the right time. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Second, we cannot assume that something is no longer in God’s will after a certain length of time has passed. That which may seem dead or lost may resurface at a time or place unexpected. Trust not in appearances but in the perfection of God’s purposes. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Third, we must trust that the answers – the keys – are closer to us than we may think. We are often standing near or upon the very things for which we long and look. Allow stillness and silence to bring answers through God’s Voice that one cannot otherwise hear. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
And, fourth, we must remember always that God sees the ultimate outcome and has a favorable plan. So we must remember to thank God in all things, even in the trials and losses. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
As we travel upon our pathways of purpose, let us trust God in all things…even when the keys are missing and the dreams seem to disappear. Let us take comfort in the perfection of His timing, His providence and His love. Appearances will not discourage or deceive us when we keep our eyes fixed on the Eternal. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 1:11)
Today – and every day – let us celebrate the moment, hear God’s Voice in the stillness and trust Him fully in all things. For the keys to Eternity lie in our faith, love and trust of Him…
© 2011 Caroline Gavin
What life lessons do you see in lost keys?