We stood there as the baggage claim carousel went around and around. Soon everyone else had gone and our little family were the only ones left.
“Are you missing something?” an attendant asked.
“Yes, our bag didn’t arrive.”
We found the service desk and they explained that our bag should be on the next plane coming in from LAX which arrived in an hour and a half. We could wait for it or pay to have it delivered the next morning.
It had been a very long day already and we had a ride waiting so we made our way out.
The airline called two hours later and told us our bag had not made it on the next flight.
A sinking feeling settled in my gut and my mind began to fill with a list of all the “important” things that were in that suitcase.
Jeremiah’s Bible and notebook with hours of study thoughts recorded.
Two brand new pairs of jeans for Jael.
Our COMPUTERS. Both of them….
Info that could not be replaced.
I crawled into bed but my churning stomach kept me awake.
“It’s just stuff, Rachel, just stuff. Quit worrying and go to sleep”, I chided myself.
“God, help our bag to show up. Please God help our bag to show up”, I prayed.
The next day there was no word from the airline. Jeremiah tried calling many times but could never get ahold of a person who could give us any information or even knew about our situation.
It was in the moment that I realized there was a bigger issue going on.
It was my heart.
My prayers were demands not petitions.
My attitude was not one of trust that God knew best.
As that realization hit me, I could look back and see how my heart had often not been in the right place when I prayed.
Scripture flooded my mind; I was not asking in faith (James 1:6), I was asking only because I wanted something for myself (James 4:3), I wasn’t believing that God wanted good things for me (Matt 7:11).
I needed to ask God’s forgiveness.
Not just for this situation but for many other times I had demanded of Him rather than trusted in Him.
I needed to refocus on His goodness and sovereign control over all aspects of my life, big and small.
Peace began to settle over my heart.
A couple days later, we received a text from the FedEx company saying that a package requiring a signature would be delivered the next day.
It was our suitcase!
Today, when I see Jeremiah’s notebook, Jael running around in her jeans, or use my computer, I am so thankful to have those things. But more importantly, I remember the lesson God taught me during those few days. The lesson not to come to God demanding the answer I want but that I come asking, if it be His will. And if it is not His will, that He give me the right heart attitude in response.
God is faithful to teach and conform His children into the image of His Son and I am thankful that He chose to use something as small as a missing suitcase full of stuff to teach me a big important lesson.
God wanted us to give us our stuff back and He wanted to work on my heart!