It was gone.
I knew it wasn't in the car or on the counter at home. I hadn't misplaced it. I hadn't overlooked it. It was gone.
Someone had stolen my wallet. My credit card, license, health card, check book...gone, and a tedious stretch of canceling everything lay ahead of me. I prayed that would be all.
I immediately went to customer service and gave my report to a manager. She explained they would talk to their security officer, run the tapes, and call me if they found anything. I called my husband, explained what happened, and asked that he come to the store.
I retrieved my children from the dressing rooms where they had been changing back into their clothes, and I went back to customer service to find out what actions were being taken.
A different manager, Harry, met me, listened to my story, explained the protocol, and went to find the security agent. While he did his part, I called my friend Debra.
"I need you to pray. Someone stole my wallet." I don't remember what she said, but it wasn't panicked. I told her, " I just keep hearing, 'Do you trust me?' And I do. I know things will be fine. I know this is a time of harvest and rejoicing. This is a time of increase, not decrease. The Lord did not promise depleted silos or stolen crops. He promised good things. This is just the enemy bluffing again, trying to be impressive, but God has the final word. The God who makes the promise, keeps the promise. I know this will be fine, but this stinks." She agreed it stinks. She also agreed this would be fine. She also agreed the God who makes the promise, keeps the promise.
Harry must have listened because he said prayer works, and God isn't intimidated. "God has done far harder things than return a wallet."
Don't I know it?
My mind thought back over my quiet time. The Lord had promised to meet Anna's clothes needs. He had said He would provide the jeans we had spent hours hunting. He promised all her needs would be met. He would not make promises of provision and then let things be stolen. It just isn't like Him.
Rob arrived and took the children to eat nearby. In the quiet waiting, I prayed.
I thanked the Lord for His faithfulness because He is always faithful. I thanked Him for Rob's calm reaction, Debra's ferocious faith, Harry's comforting presence, and I thanked Him for finding the wallet. It was a stretch, but I had two choices: believe the God who makes the promise keeps the promise or to let situations dictate my belief system. I choose to believe God can keep His promise, so I thanked Him.
Then my mind flashed to stories a friend who was a policeman told us, stories of shoplifters stealing medicine for sick babies, diapers, or formula for hungry children. Dear Lord, did this person need money to feed or care for a child? Why did they steal? Oh, God, meet their needs. Forgive them. Set them free from whatever makes them use this way to live. Lead them to you. They need you. They need you to save them and provide for them, and if there are children in need, do whatever you need to do to take care of those babies.
I stopped, surprised by own prayers, but sincere. I didn't know why these people stole. All I knew was they needed Jesus far more than I needed my wallet.
My phone rang with Debra's ring-tone. "I've been praying that whoever stole the wallet is only after cash, and they would throw the wallet away when they found no cash. Look in the trashcans and in the bathroom. Your wallet is still there, and everything is in it."
Satan talked loud and clear in my ear, "Do you know how unlikely that is? It would take a miracle. Miracles like that just don't happen."
My spirit spoke back. "But the God who makes the promise, keeps the promise."
Security came, got a list of where we had been, and went to pull the tape. I sat, waited, and wondered, How was God going to pull this off? I prayed, "Thank you for giving back my wallet intact. Thank you that this is going to be yet another testimony of your goodness and faithfulness."
Officer Coleman arrived. The report was made. We talked, and she went to see the tape. Rob and the children had returned, and Rob was going to use his credit card to pay for our merchandise. However, the whole reason we were shopping is because Anna needed jeans. Finding jeans for her is not an easy job. In fact, we both dread it, but we had actually found a pair, and despite the frustration of the wallet, we were rejoicing about the jeans. It only made sense to see if they had a few more pair to fit her, so off we went to the jeans.
Anna went ahead of us, and I tried to just relax. Then we heard Anna's voice ring out. "I found it! Mom, I found it!" Suddenly, she appeared...lime green wallet in hand. "I was praying as I came over here that God would help me find your wallet. I looked through clothes, saw a hint of green, and looked. There it was!"
I laughed and cried. The zipper was unzipped. The snap was undone. My credit card was there. My license was there. Everything was there. They had been looking for one thing--cash. They looked for the cash and then "threw it away," just like Debra prayed.
Yes, Harry, God has done far harder things than return a wallet, but today, it was miracle enough.
Then to add an exclamation mark to the whole situation, the jeans Anna found were on clearance, and we were thankful. Then the clerk rang them up-- 40 cents each. We all stared. She scanned it again. 40 cents. Three pair of new jeans $1.20.
But really, how could I expect anything less? After all, the God who makes the promise, keeps the promise.
Copyright Jerri Phillips 2009