The Story of a Key

I've had a few hard days lately. I don't want to have a little pity party for myself, so let me instead tell you how God met me when I was feeling the most overwhelmed I'd felt in a long time.

Amidst looking for a place to live, dealing with disciplining a two-year old, working on too many projects, and dealing with some other emotional issues, I was helping plan a big leadership meeting at church for last weekend. Go with me, if you will, to Sunday afternoon.

We had everything finally worked out between my co-organizer and I, and I arrived at the church we were borrowing for our meeting as scheduled, a half-hour before the meeting time. A couple of friends were willing to arrive early to help us set up tables for our meal, and they pulled into the parking lot just as we did.

Moondoggie had also willingly helped out by picking up a bunch of food items earlier, so we had decided that we'd just leave it all in his car and drive it to the party. Mind you, the Jeep usually only gets driven when he's on his own. We almost always go out in the Sequoia.

But tonight we had the Jeep.

Which meant I didn't have the keys to the Sequoia with me.

Which meant I didn't have the key to the church with me. It was at home, on the counter, twenty minutes away.

Earlier in the week when I met the pastor's son to pick up the key, I had so intentionally placed it on my car-key-ring so as to insure that it wouldn't get forgotten. So much for that.

We were locked out of our meeting space.

In an instance my mind processed the fact that even if my sweet husband drove straight home now, he'd arrive back at the church about ten or fifteen minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, which would leave us with around sixty church leaders and all their kids standing outside a locked church with piles of food and Costco-sized flats of drinks sitting outside the door as well.

So, I did what any experienced meeting planner would do.

I burst into tears.

I had ruined the meeting! I had been so caught up in my own issues and life circumstances and my opinions of my husbands "shortcomings" earlier in the day that I had failed to get the most important thing required for the meeting.

Seriously God? Please don't let this be happening now.

The church we were borrowing had originally planned to be having a small church prayer meeting there at the same time as us, but then earlier in the week they had moved their meeting to the beach. A much more desirable location to be sure, but that left me with no one else coming who could open the door.

Moondoggie left the car at my prodding-- I  needed to have a good cry by myself before I could attempt to figure out a reasonable solution. Somehow, while still a basket case, I managed to think to call my parents, who were babysitting Chiquita, to see if one of them could bring me the key.

My dad, most likely hearing the desperation in my voice, graciously agreed to bring me the key.

By the time he arrived, we'd have only a few minutes remaining to get all the tables and chairs and food set up. I still worried that the pastors would be disappointed in my flakiness, and continued to cry.

A minute or two passed, and then I looked up to see a car I didn't recognize enter the parking lot. I wiped my eyes, got out of the Jeep, and walked around to the front and sure enough the car had parked and a man in boardshorts was walking toward the front door.

Could it be?

He greeted me as if he knew me, even though we'd only spoke on the phone, and introduced himself as Pastor Roger.

My heart leapt.

"I came by because we forgot to let you know about the alarm system."


"You're kidding!" I explained the whole key situation, which he laughed off as he simply handed me another copy for locking up, told me not to worry about the alarm and that we could bring the other key back whenever.

I called my dad back to tell him to go ahead and turn around, still grateful that he was willing to come. I knew it wasn't a coincidence that Roger had shown up.

Sighing a big relief, I praised God for caring about something so small as a key, giving me the grace I needed in that moment, and revealing Himself to me in my silly despair.

The key to finding contentment even when I'm beyond overwhelmed? Trusting God to get me through it all.

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