I have felt the need to post a follow-up to my previous post, just in case someone who isn't one of my regular followers would stop in to see what's going on with me ... so here goes!
After writing the entry about losing my tablet, I set off on my busy day with a heavy heart and tears spilling from my eyes. I didn't honestly know if I was crying anymore from the loss, or from the conviction of what I had seen in my heart. I felt so out-of-control, that I called a dear friend and prayer warrior to pray for me so that I could go on. ... which she did ... and I did.
Much later in the day, when I returned home, my son undertook to use my online account to track my tablet. Now, here's where it got confusing. I had lost a "Galaxy" tablet, but I also have a "Galaxy" phone! When we went to my Samsung account and tracked my "Galaxy", it kept locating it at my home address! Having repeatedly searched my house and car without any success, we thought it must be tracking my phone! So we "locked" the Galaxy that it was tracking so that it couldn't be used, and then tried to use my phone. My phone was not locked, so we concluded that it MUST be tracking my tablet - to my home! That kept bugging me, so the next time I had to put the dog out on her line, I thought I would check my car one more time (this being about the 4th time!). This time I looked under my driver's seat from the backseat (which I had already done), but instead of looking on the floor, I glanced up just a little bit and there was my tablet stuck on the black tubular framework for my seat, just below the cushion!
It had never been lost at all, but it had been lost to me! Apart from my extreme relief and gratitude to the Lord, I had to ask "why did I have to go through that?" The answer came immediately. I needed to see what was in my heart! It was a "fiery trial".
I've had several more of those "trials" in the weeks since that one. The day after it was found, my dog injured her eye running around our yard while the church youth group was raking leaves for us. It was 5 days before my step-son's wedding, and I spent hours (not to mention $'s) running her to the vet, an animal eye specialist (2X), and administering medicines 4X/day. At the same time I spent hours on the phone trying to straighten out a mess ordering a new range that had to be converted from Natural Gas to our LP! Then, there was the wedding which was beautiful but difficult doing without his father. Then, exhausted, the start of a new Bible Study group, major sports meeting at my son's school, and then the installation of the new range... and the accompanying crash. Oh! That's another story. Another one of those "why did this have to happen to me NOW?"
Last Tuesday, the man I had hired to convert and install the range arrived with his young adult son. My dog was on her line in the driveway and barking at them furiously. I went out to hold onto her and calm her while I thought they would walk around the cars and across the grass to the front door (as I have done hundreds of times before). But this time, these men felt uncomfortable walking on my grass and they approached coming up the driveway between the cars. As they did, my dog wrapped her cable around my right ankle and yanked my leg out from under me, crashing me down onto the cement, twisting and scraping and bruising me in multiple places and banging the back of my head against the back bumper of the my car, and landing on the (arthritic) thumb joint of my left hand. Today, a week later, I am still hurting.
I feel like the apostle Paul when he was relaying all of the trials he had endured, and he was only mentioning the "biggies" ... there have been so many others that I have been experiencing at the same time as these. Paul often spoke of his trials and sufferings. And his conclusions were all the same. Sufferings produce endurance, perseverance, purer faith, stronger confidence in the deliverance of God.
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed ... for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1Peter 1:6-9)
Today, I am so thankful that my Father loves me enough to not let me stay in a place that is anything less than His best for me, and that He is there to strengthen me and carry me through any and every trial, difficulty, or suffering!