One of my Christmas gifts this year was a copy of Sue Eenigenburg’s new book, Screams in the Desert, Hope and Humor for Women in Cross-Cultural Ministry. What a delightful, insightful, encouraging book! Sue gave permission for Peter’s Wife to reprint a chapter from the book. All 52 chapters are designed for personal reflection and group discussion. It was hard to pick a favorite chapter, but this definitely tops my list! Diane
Little Shoe in a Big City. . .Little Faith in a Big God
We were riding in one of the thousands of taxis in the capital city of our new host country. My youngest daughter had just gotten a brand new pair of shoes from her grandma. They looked so cute on her little feet. When we arrived at our destination, I got out of the taxi, paid the driver, and went on my way carrying Katie. As we were walking into the store, I noticed that one of her new shoes was missing. It had fallen off her foot in the taxi. I ran outside, but I was too late. The taxi was already gone.
I was so sad. We had just received those shoes as a gift from my mom and I had liked them. I thought about praying for that shoe; but I realized that with all of the taxis in the city, it would be impossible for that shoe to find its way back to us, so I dismissed the idea of praying and accepted the inevitable loss of one cute shoe. She would probably lose the other one soon and then her feet would match again!
I saw some co-workers that day and told them of this minor loss, but I couldn’t help feeling a major disappointment. It was the first time she had ever worn them–too bad we would never see that shoe again. She had only gotten to wear them for fifteen minutes or so.
Later that day, our teammate, Mark, was riding in a taxi talking to the driver. The driver asked him where he was from and Mark said, “America.” The driver was impressed with Mark’s Arabic and told him of an American woman who had ridden in his taxi that morning. She had also spoken Arabic. He then proceeded to hold up the shoe that she had left in the taxi. Mark looked at the shoe and told him he knew that American woman and the shoe belonged to her daughter! The driver asked him where she lived.
A little later, I heard a knock at the door. I went to open it and there was this man holding out my daughter’s shoe to me. I was speechless. I took the shoe and my husband came to the door with me to thank the driver.
Impossible. Too hard. Why even pray about it? It could never happen. All of a sudden, I became aware of the limitations I had put on God. He was showing me that nothing is impossible for him. Finding a tiny shoe in a city of eighteen million people–that’s about thirty-six million shoes–and having this one little shoe brought back to me in my own home was a simple thing for God. He merely arranged a few taxi rides.
Why did he do this? Was it that he liked the shoe, too? I think God wanted to change my viewpoint. He was disappointed in my estimation of him. I had little faith and saw a huge impossibility in one tiny shoe. God wanted to renew my vision, to see that I can trust him. If I can look to him to take care of little details like this, I can trust him even more with the important things in life!
The next time you are tempted to think, “Oh, that’s impossible!” remember a little shoe in a big city that came home to a woman of little faith who had a big God!
Lord, I know that you can do the impossible. Sometimes I get so focused on what needs to be done or the difficulty that I am facing that it appears bigger than you do. Enable me to focus on you and not on my circumstances, to begin with know who you are and then together we can face any obstacle. Amen.
One of Sue’s points for discussion is to write down an event in the past when God did something that you thought was impossible. How about sharing your stories with our readers? We can all be blessed as we share our own experiences and hear others’ stories too. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt Reprinted by permission. Screams in the Desert, Sue Eenigenburg, 2007, William Carey Library, Pasadena, CA All rights reserved. For more information, check out the publisher’s web site at: William Carey Library