One of the reasons the gift is my favorite is because Tony shared his new-found hobby, and love of ball point pen making, with his Dad and me. I’m picky about my pens…how they feel in my hand, the width of the barrel, and how well the pen flows. My new pen is beautiful, it meets all my criteria, and it writes perfectly.
I’m also picky about my purses…the size, the number of interior and exterior pockets, etc. Part of the reason for my pickiness is that I’m forever asking “where are my keys”, “where is my phone”, or “where is my pen”. Once I find the perfect purse, all of my items are in their perfect location and easily accessible. Or at least they should be.
A few weeks ago we went to our Wednesday evening home group. We’d eaten on the way, and I was rooting in my purse for breath mints that occupy the same interior pocket as my prized pen. As group began I reached for my pen. It wasn’t in the proper pocket, nor was it anywhere else in my purse. I assumed it was on the floor in Tom’s truck, thinking that while searching for the breath mints, I must have dropped it.
When we got home we searched the truck. No pen could be found, even with a flashlight.
Tom then asked, “Are you sure it was in your purse? Maybe you just thought it was in your purse”. After he quickly realized he was skating on very thin ice, he said, “Don’t worry or be upset. We will find it tomorrow morning in the daylight.” Smart man.
Daylight arrived and we both searched the truck. The pen was nowhere to be found.
During the next two weeks I thought of my pen often. When we arrived at home group I told Tom to park in the same spot so I could look for my pen, although I didn’t expect it to be there. I shined my cell phone flash light on a muddy, leaf filled, watery mess beside the curb, and THERE WAS MY PEN, safe in the drawstring bag!
No one had picked it up, it hadn’t been run over, stepped on, or swept up when the neighbors had done yard work. The pen was in perfect condition, even after it lay in the street for two weeks.
Another thing that made this pen so special is that it, to me, is a symbol of answered prayer. Tony has been on our “Top Ten Prayer List” for years. Following a service one Sunday in the fall, I told Tom that I felt Tony, of all our unsaved family members, would be the one who would never come to the Lord. O, ME of little faith!
That afternoon Tom called Tony, but didn’t reach him and left a voice message. Several days later when they did speak, Tom learned that Tony had watched “The Bible” series on the History Channel. It caused him to have questions, and he spoke with a chaplain at the hospital where he works in Oklahoma City. The chaplain had given Tony a copy of “The Story”, which contains selections from the NIV Bible that tells God’s story from Genesis through Revelation. He was reading it, and he had questions. For the first time, Tom had the freedom to talk with Tony about the things of God.
Just as my pen was not actually lost, neither was Tony. God has always known exactly where he was and when he would be ready for a relationship with him. Tony may have doubted God, but God never doubted Tony because he knew his heart.
That is reassuring. That brings me peace and hope as I pray for our children and grandchildren. It also reminds me that each relationship is on God’s timetable, not mine. As a mother and grandmother, I’m more encouraged to pray, believing, that my family will all come to know my Lord as their personal Savior.
Matt: 21:22 – ESV “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” One of the footnotes in my bible (Gospel Transformation Bible) says about this verse: “Believers who pray unselfishly for the things they think will advance God’s merciful and saving purposes should also pray boldly. They should have faith that God will either do what they ask or will work in some other way that he knows will accomplish his purposes more perfectly.”
Thank you, Father, that when I pray for my family, I know I am praying your will, for you tell us in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Because of the Truth of Your Word, I boldly ask for salvation and restoration of my family. Remind me when I doubt that I am on your timetable, not my own. Your love for me and my family is so great that you went to the cross to provide a way for each of us to become your child. Thank you that we will never be lost from your loving care and protection, and that you are constantly wooing us to know you more and more.