This story begins over a year ago, when I purchased a silver-plated watch I liked.
One day, I took the watch off my wrist and noticed the small back of the watch had fallen out.
Not comfortable in wearing it open without the protection of its stainless steel back, I put it up.
Trying to remember where I had been that day, I tried to retrace my steps.
Looking everywhere I’d been that day took some time.... still... nothing showed up.
It was reasonable (I thought) that I couldn’t find it because the tiny back was so small (about the size of a dime and thin).
Yet, I felt the disappointment of losing it anyway.
It was a huge long-shot that I'd ever find it, but I prayed and asked God if He would help me find that tiny protective back of the watch.
I had come to believe that God is the God of the long-shot....
Months went by and I let the memory of that small dime-size, watch back, slide out of my mind.
Recently, I’ve been busy at attempting to return a small portion of my yard, back into part of the lawn area (I had decided to remove a couple of fruit trees in that space).
The area had become thick with weeds... mostly crabgrass entangled in a black mat. The dirt had become dry and hardened.
I worked several days on cutting the two trees I intended to remove from that area; cutting limb after limb off and then cutting the trunk in sections (and digging out the roots) so I would be able to lift the wood into the yard-waste container myself.
Finally, I was down to the opened-up ground area.
The more I starred at that tangled mess of a lawn space, I tried to think of possible ways to make it easier on myself to get it accomplished.
I decided to water the area down and then try the next day to begin digging those packed and tangled weeds out of that space.
The next day, after working about twenty minutes, smacking the large clumps of still hard earth (with my shovel) to disentangle the thick roots of the weeds, sweat pouring down my face, my hair sticking to the sweat (and wondering why I had decided to do such a dumb thing), I noticed a small gray round piece of something fall away from a broken clump of dirt.
I picked it up and thought it was a broken cap off a beverage bottle. Almost tossed it, but something stopped me.
I stuck it in my pocket. Several minutes later, I stopped to wipe the sweat off my face and took out the tiny thing, I'd found and tried to wipe some of the hardened clay off it.
It seemed encased in cement (it was so difficult to break off the hardened clay), and again, I raised my hand to toss it into the wheelbarrow.
I suddenly held back from the toss and almost with a feeling of irritation I shoved it back into my pants pocket.
Later, when I was too tired to continue, I put the shovel away, walked into the house and remembered the small piece of something in my pocket.
After I wiped my face off with a damp cloth, I sat down, picked up the magnifying glass and tried to read the tiny print on the gray metal.... I couldn’t make it out... My eyes went to the waste basket. I thought of tossing it into the waste basket…. something held me back.
I sighed and suddenly found myself determined to at least read what was on that tiny piece of something, I'd dug out of the stubborn clay in an area I had worked so hard to reclaim.
I wiped it off again... leaned it into the light and could just make out the numbers, “1712.”
Slightly frustrated with myself, I thought, “Toss that thing and go get a drink of orange juice....”
As I was walking over to the waste basket, it felt as though someone had whispered, “Don’t...”
Just then the memory of losing the stainless steel tiny back of that watch swept into my mind.
Holding my breath, I rushed into the bathroom, where the watch was hanging from a bottle of hand-creme.
I reached for the grounded watch, turned it over and with penetrating pleasure realized that tiny piece of “something,” I had found entangled in that piece of hard earth and stubborn weeds was the protective back of my watch.
I laughed out loud in delight… then instantly within a breathless gratefulness, whispered, "Thank you, God!"
Sometimes you never know how God will teach you something.....
When God knows you are willing to pay the price of hard work and sweat that it will take to obtain what you are asking for…. it seems that in spite of losing something you value, (and even though its a long-shot), you may get it back because God is willing to help you recover it -- In spite of it being imprisoned in a black mat filled full of tangled weeds and hardened clay for a long time...
I believe that God was teaching me a lesson, I needed to learn.
Surely, that is the miracle that undergirds God's choice to return the tiny metal watch-back to me.
It makes sense that the lesson in the miracle is defined by the experience… that there may be a personal cost to that which I long for… and He is asking me if I'm willing to pay it.
I don't know, for sure, if I am… (perhaps He will send me the real reason for me to make the effort)... Yet, now I am certain of this… if I do pay the price… it will be worth it….
And now I know, there is no such thing as a "small" miracle with God….
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14-15
It is only a tiny rosebud, A flower of God's design, But I cannot unfold the petals With these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers Is not known to such as I, The flower God opens so sweetly, In my hands would fade and die.
I cannot unfold a rosebud, This flower of God's design, Then how can I have wisdom To unfold this life of mine?
So I'll trust Him for His leading Each moment of every day And I'll look to Him for His guidance Each step of the pilgrim way.
For the pathway that lies before me My heavenly Father knows I'll trust Him to unfold the moments Just as He unfolds the rose.