A Misplaced Key and the Favor of God

We misplaced our car key the other day.

We searched.

And we searched.

And we searched some more.

No luck.

The car key was not where we expected it to be, and it wasn’t even in spots where we wouldn’t expect it to be.

With no other prospects in mind, John and I abandoned our unsuccessful pursuit and headed to bed for the night.

The next morning, as our family gathered for our morning devotional and prayer time, I asked the boys to join us in praying that the missing car key would materialize with the Lord’s help. We’ve made it a point in our family’s faith walk to ask the Lord for His assistance – especially when we’ve exhausted all of our ideas, strategies, and thoughts on any given matter.

Honestly, we just didn’t know where else to look for this crazy key. We believed the Lord could see the key and its chain and knew exactly where they were – but would He help us with this seemingly inconsequential request?

After all, a missing car key is not a life and death matter, is it?

However, for us, it would have been both an inconvenience and challenge to replace not only the key, but the fob containing the locking mechanism for our vehicle. The key chain was also special to me – a sweet reminder of our friends and ministry partners in Zimbabwe. I honestly was praying hard that this key, fob, and chain would turn up and turn up soon.

Well, guess what happened?

John found the key, its fob, and the sentimental key chain in a surprising location, to which Jake cheered, “That’s GOOD!”

It was good.

A relief, actually.

The Lord saved us from a lot of work. As I have mentioned in the past, nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever done too quickly or too easily in our southern African context. Small tasks may take the whole day to accomplish or even longer. We were grateful for the Lord’s care and intervention to help us when we needed Him to assist.

Well, this lost key event came into sharp focus when I read these words today:

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.

New International Version, Psalm 106: 4-5

Our Lord showed His favor to our family by helping us find a lost key. We needed fresh inspiration and we needed determined perseverance to continue searching for the key – when we really had no idea where to look. The Lord came to our aid and we give Him credit and praise for His attention and care in this perplexing circumstance.

But, was this the kind of favor, prosperity, salvation, joy, and inheritance that the Psalmist was describing with his written word?

Does a lost key that is found connotate favor?

What is favor?

According to the transliterated Hebrew word for favor, ratsown means pleasure, delight, goodwill and acceptance.

Did we experience the Lord’s delight when we discovered a missing key?

As I shared, relief was our dominant response to finding that crazy, misplaced key. We prayed for it to be found and thankfully, it was located. But, as I consider this situation even more, I wonder.

Am I being too short-sighted and too naïve about how I apply the word favor to my circumstances?

You see, I am in the habit of attaching the favor of the Lord to a particularly vexing situation that is resolved – especially after I’ve prayed and prayed about it – and praising my God for His goodness and attention when the answer finally comes. Maybe, you do that, too.

It’s not wrong to praise the Lord for answering our prayers.

However, what I am pondering is that I may be too imperceptive in my application of the Lord’s favor to my circumstances. Because, if I am completely honest, not all circumstances are made right on this earth.

For example, before all three of our sons were born, I prayed for their health and well-being daily. I did. I asked and asked and asked and I prayed and prayed and prayed that these three precious kids of ours would be right-as-rain in their physical, emotional, and mental development and capacity.  Well, as many of you know who have followed our family’s journey, Caleb was born with hemangiomas – a birth defect – and Caleb underwent seven different surgeries before the age of three years. Later, Jake and Caleb were both diagnosed as autistic. Jake has a co-morbid diagnosis of anxiety disorder, too. We didn’t ask for these things. Yet, as a result of these very real realities, I believe our family has journeyed together in an even more God-dependent way than had two of our children not been born with any neurodevelopmental differences.

I dare to ask the question: Are we experiencing the Lord’s pleasure when we do not receive what we’ve been praying for – and perhaps never will receive the object of desire?

And will we enjoy and be satisfied by the Lord’s goodwill when something occurs that we didn’t ask for?

Are these types of circumstances integrally part of the Lord’s favor for our lives, too?

Will we accept that our Lord is Lord over every circumstance that occurs in our lives? Even the rough, tough, and hard-to-swallow ones?

Will we, like the Psalmist, cry to the Lord and ask:

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.

Because as I reflect upon these words, I see something far more than a temporal, earthbound appeal.

Those that are set apart for Jesus Christ allow themselves to be satisfied by His goodness and cheered by His gladness, regardless of circumstance. We understand that nothing is more desirable than resting in Christ and trusting in His purposes. Jesus once said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The Lord’s favor comes with spiritual and eternal blessing. Such blessings of peace, strength, security, comfort, joy, hope, and love transcend time, space, and circumstance – helping us see the Lord in all things.

Do I see my Lord in Caleb’s hemangioma surgeries?

Do I see my Lord in Jake and Caleb’s autism diagnoses?

Do I see my Lord in Jake’s anxiety struggles?

Do I see my Lord in our recent lost and found key dilemma?

Do I see my Lord in my 2012 cancer scare?

Do I see my Lord in times of rejection?

Do I see my Lord when I am falsely accused?

Do I see my Lord when others disrespect me in spite?

Do I see my Lord in betrayal?

Do I see my Lord in tragedy and loss?

Do I see my Lord in my dad’s dementia?

Do I see my Lord when my prayers go unanswered?

Because if I do, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, I can experience the Lord’s favor, the Lord’s delight, the Lord’s pleasure and the Lord’s acceptance. And that’s ultimately what I need to help me live a transformative, Christ-following life on this earth.  I need to experience His acceptance and love of me as I seek Christ for each and every circumstance – happy or sad, joyful or despairing, triumphant or tragic, affirming or betraying, inspiring or frustrating, rational or foolish, successful or failing, healthy or ill, and more.

This is a prosperous choice. Did you know that the Hebrew transliterated word for prosperity is Towb Adoniyahuw? Defining the word origins of this significant term, towb means that something is good, pleasant, beneficial, valuable, and happy. Whereas, haireomai means to choose for yourself. Together these two words mean something special. Towb Adoniyahu is My Lord is Good – in other words, we choose to believe that our Lord is good.

Do we?

Do we believe that our Lord is good and that His favor rests upon us (those who have placed their faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ) – in every single circumstance in life and in the age to come?

This is what I’m pondering today after losing and finding a car key.

What are your ponderings in the ups-and-downs of each circumstance in life?

Do you see the Lord’s favor?

2 thoughts on “A Misplaced Key and the Favor of God

  1. It always amazes me that with all He has to do, he cares for the desires of my heart, and helps you find your keys! I believe he is with us as our bodies and minds begin to fail, and will be there to catch us when we step from this earth. We have the perfect parent who even counts the hairs on our heads. 💞 I have come to believe that everything I have and everything I do is a gift of his favor. All my best efforts are dead works if I give myself credit for one aspect of their result. I am totally dependent, and secure in his provision. Work hard, pray, and walk humbly with my God. nlb

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me. We certainly walk unique, God-given, favor-full paths in this life, don’t we? Take good care, and thank you again for writing to me!

      With love,
      heather

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