Tuesday, September 20, 2011
“…but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” -1Pet. 3:4
Hidden things, like Easter eggs, can be good. Other hidden things, like land mines, can be bad. There are several hidden essential keys to contentment and peace in this life. And they’re good. Certainly, faith in something bigger than us, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is paramount. From that essential value flows the rest of the values that govern and lead this life. As parents and friends, there is no better message we can pass on to those we love. Then, hopefully, when their circumstances are difficult, they’ll have that hidden faith to get them through.
I was in a hurry the other day (seems I’m always in a hurry). I rushed out to my car in the church parking lot with books and folders in hand. I quickly unlocked the door and threw my pile on the car seat. But I’d left my laptop in my office, so I shut the door and went back in to get it. When I returned to the car, I reached into my pocket for the keys. They weren’t there. As I gazed through the car window, I saw them on the car seat. In slow motion, I reached for the door handle to open the door, but, you guessed it, the door was locked. Yikes!
But then I remembered, I’d hidden a key under the car (which you’ll never find- it’s in a weird place). Though I got a little dirty, I found the keybox, removed the key and unlocked the door. Pretty simple. No problem.
A few months earlier, a friend of mine locked the keys in their running car and didn't have an extra key stashed away. Not simple and yes, a problem. A locksmith and fifty bucks later, the door was unlocked.
So many of the lessons we teach our kids are caught rather than taught. We’d prefer the “taught” options. The “caught” scares us a bit because it’s not something we can teach in a lesson or type on a sheet of paper. It’s the way we live our lives. A life of faith teaches our kids that a there is something stronger and more powerful than ourselves, that is the “strong tower” we can run to and be safe in the hard times.
When the tough times come (and they always do), having that hidden, secure, heart-filled faith makes all the difference. It’s there to grab and lean on through it all. Sure, we can always call the locksmith to unlock the door, but that’s always a temporarily fix. Or we can determine to never lock the keys in our car, but it will happen when you least expect it. A loving God guarantees it. Why? Because he knows we’re at our best when we’re depending on Him. So He engineers circumstances in our lives to produce faith in our lives.
He produces circumstances in our lives to bring us to our knees. That’s what James 1:2 is reminding us, “consider the trials as joy knowing they are there to produce something good” (my paraphrase). It’s difficult because we have our plans and our expectations. But life is short and the building of faith is what it’s all about.
So, next time you lock your keys in the car or whatever, reach for that Hide-a-key and pull it out. Trust that God is there as a Helper and Comforter. Don't solo through the difficulty. Put that key in the lock and open the door. And let your kids and friends know about it.
And rejoice that you can never be locked out again.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©