In the spirit of reminiscing, I’d like to share with you what I now consider a funny story from Christmas 2014. Like I said, this tale will leave you laughing your head off, but at the time (in the words of my grandma) I was fit to be tied!
Christmas was fast approaching so I did the unthinkable. I loaded my two youngest children, JD and Leanna, into the car the Friday afternoon before Christmas and headed to, none other than, the mall. Okay, pause here and shake your head. Why would a person in their right mind do that? My point exactly.
We traversed around the mall for a few hours, going here, there, and everywhere trying to complete the shopping. Tired, flustered, cranky, and whiney (I’m talking about myself with that description), I had had enough and decided to leave. Our hands were packed full of gifts, along with drinks and boxes from the cookie store. (Yes, it is a must to get a cookie slice at the mall, especially when you’re power shopping.)
Loaded down JD, Leanna, and I made our way back to the far end of the mall where I had parked who knows how many hours before. By this time (It was around 5PM – on a FRIDAY AFTERNOON BEFORE CHRISTMAS!) I was rushing about because I had promised to take a meal to a friend who had just had surgery. (I know, I know. Really pour planning on my part.)
We made it to the car only to discover that the items we purchased were much too large for my little sports car. I should have brought the van, I thought to myself, and it was at that moment that I apparently placed my drink and cell phone on the roof of the car. (Yes, you know exactly where this is going, don’t you?) After making that fatal mistake, I somehow managed to stuff all of the packages inside the car leaving little room for the rest of us.
I pulled out of my parking space and managed to get out of the mall parking lot in a snap. At that point I did not notice the stares and finger pointing. This only registered with me in hindsight. I pushed “one” on my speed dial and my phone, which was connected to my Bluetooth, dialed my husband, Alex. He answered, and we began talking. By that time I was on the expressway.
After a mile or two, in mid sentence, Alex and I were disconnected, and at that point for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. “Did my phone die?” I said out loud. I asked JD to look in my purse and get my phone so that I can charge it and call Alex back. But he searched and searched, only to find nothing. By that time, I was off the expressway and quite frustrated.
Pulling into a store parking lot, I got out and began rummaging through the car. In the recesses of my mind I heard a small voice whispering something I feared but knew couldn’t possibly be true. “Your phone flew off the top of your car, Jacqueline.”
“No!” I tell myself. “I didn’t do that! Did I?” It is at this point that I began to figure out exactly what happened. I had indeed placed my phone (and drink) on top of the car, and it had managed (somehow) to stay on my car, connected to my Bluetooth for several miles at 65 miles per hour, before flying off somewhere on Interstate 5-20.
Are you kidding me? How was this possible?
Flustered and boiling mad, I got back into the car to head home. Upon arriving home, I called The Apple Store and attempted to explain what I thought happened. I felt really stupid, by the way!
The customer service rep suggested that I track my phone, explaining that unless I brought my phone into the Apple Store (cracked and all, because you know it’s gonna be cracked) they can’t replace it. No replacing lost or stolen phones!!! I had never thought of that.
Grabbing my ipad, I hit the Find My Phone app. Sure enough the phone was alive on Interstate 5-20. Do not ask me how!
The nice lady assured me that if I could get my phone, Apple would replace it, even if it was in a million pieces. So I made a call to Alex, explained why I wanted him to put his life in danger on the expressway, and waited for him to laugh and tell me no!
Like the considerate man he is, he agreed to go in search of my iphone. He and my oldest, Austen, tracked my phone and found its whereabouts.
To make a long story longer, they did find my iphone cracked and bleeding on the side of 5-20. I don’t know how it managed to make it to the side of the road rather than the middle, but it did. Risking their lives, they pulled the van over, got out four feet from it place of rest and found it.
They took it straight to the Apple store and retrieved a shiny new white iphone 5 for me and brought it home.
Now that’s a story, I know. Some parts are even hard to believe, but it’s all true, I promise. And as I thought about how, in this century, we have devices that will track and trace the location of almost anything and everything, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that, just like Find My iphone knew my location, God always knows my location too.
There is never a moment in time when we are outside the realm and knowledge of God’s GPS. Do you fear being alone? Don’t! Because God is always with you – leading, comforting, and directing your life. Just like Find My iphone dropped a pin at the phone’s exact location, God knows your exact location, day or night. We are never out God’s grasp, out of His presence, or out of His realm of protection.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Funny story, I know. But the lesson that resonated in my mind for all of Christmas that year was the message of God’s presence. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, came to earth so He could be with us forever.