Fear. It shimmies down your spine, snatches your next breath and thrusts your hands into invisible ice packs.  Then dreaded beads of sweat break out along your hairline and soon enshrouds your torso in a cold deathly soak. Your heart races as a sinking and sickening feeling morphs from the pit of your stomach into lead in your shoes. The spring in your step slows to a tremulous wobble; your face turns a pale shade as the impact of your carelessness hits you like a thousand knives. You’ve lost your passport! 

I stood momentarily like a deer caught in the lights, blinking vacuously. Then turning to Nancy as we got off the coach on the Blue Mountain, I said: “I’ve left my black bag behind on the bench at the bus stop at Sydney. It’s got our passports and my laptop computer in it.” She looked at me, smiled and shook her head. No verbal tirade. I love her for that! I checked the coach again. Twice under our seats, then the overhead compartment. No bag. With us was a wonderful group of Korean-American Christian doctors. We’d just spoken at a medical mission conference together. Someone rang a shop near that bus stop to check the bench. Nothing. Sydney was two hours away. It was pointless to go back. As we sat down for our stopover dinner at a fancy restaurant, they prayed for us. I made a police report over the phone and returned to find Nancy chatting and laughing with others at her table. She had faith. I have an amazing wife!

A truth I had preached in church that afternoon bubbled up. Prompted by the Spirit, I said: “In a crisis, look to Jesus first and tell Him your problem.” Not look to others or the police. Look (with your heart) to Jesus first. I felt the engulfing void recede. Faith arose even as dusk fell. As we all returned to the coach, now dark, I felt God prompt me to check under my seat one last time…. And there it was! My little black bag! Intact with passport, computer and all. I was stunned! I had last seen it on the bench. How was it restored again? My memory lapse maybe? Carelessness in checking under the seat the first two times maybe? Maybe angels? Or oversight? But my brief trip from “lost to found”, sealed this truth for me: “When in crisis, look (with your heart) to Jesus first!”

Ps Dr Philip Lyn

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