05 Apr Parked Cars. Lost Keys. Open Eyes.
It was clear, I wasn’t going anywhere. There was a car in front of me blocking the alley.
I was headed to Auburn and was already off schedule. I was supposed to be over the bridge and headed west on I-10, but this empty car with the door open was preventing me from moving … anywhere.
“Ok, Lord, I’ll be patient. I’m sure this car is here for a reason.”
I waited. And waited. And waited.
I finally honked my horn. My spirit-filled waiting attitude was over. This guy was not following the law. Why in the world would you park a car in an alley when clearly it was the only way out?
Just then, he emerged. And without hesitation and zero apology, he told me to back up.
Back up? Are you serious? Dude, YOU NEED to move forward.
Clearly, I was no longer tapping into my inner believing that God had a good and perfect plan for me.
Alright, “Mr. Block-the-Alley-Man-for-10-Minutes,” I’ll back up. He was even so kind as to direct my big white SUV through the narrow pathway.
What I failed to mention was that previous to my blockade, I had just left a meeting before leaving town. As I was backing up and returning the same way I entered, I saw my friend walking toward me.
“Annie, did you accidentally pick up my keys?” Horrified, I dug into my purse and low and behold, there were. His. Keys.
They looked just like mine and even had the same small gas station credit card dangling from the silver key ring. But they were clearly not mine. Then the thought hit me—I would have been in Alabama by now with my friend’s keys if “Mr. Alley-Man” had not blocked my way.
I know God had something to teach me that day, and I believe He can speak to your heart, too.
As a world under a global pandemic, as a nation, and as individuals, I believe we need to BACK-UP.
We get frustrated when parked cars block us from driving down our own set of agendas. We are so accustomed to immediate gratification that we find ourselves in a complete “tizzy” when our plans are disrupted for a whole 10 minutes. We don’t understand the inconvenience of a self-quarantine, and panic over rows and rows of empty toilet paper aisles. We watch the news and fear washes over us as the reality of COVID-19 sweeps across our country.
Seriously, Lord. What is happening?
I believe He is asking us to back-up, slow down, ask hard questions, get into His Word, and rest in His promises.
Matthew 9:27-31 talks about Jesus healing two blind men. These men knew Jesus could heal them and they shouted, ”Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
We, too, can relate in today’s global pandemic, right? We want a miracle! We want an immediate cure. We want this parked car to get OUT of the way so we can drive forward again, and we are shouting as a nation and a global community, “Jesus, have mercy on us!
However, I must pose the question—Is the car parked for a purpose because we have lost our vision and taken someone else’s keys?
Is the car parked because we need to slow down, deepen our faith, and spend more time in God’s Word (Psalm 1:2-3)? Do we need to be pursuing Jesus rather than panicking in our circumstances (Matthew 6:34, Philippians 4:6-7)? Do we need to replace our fears with faith (Hebrews 11:1, Psalm 46:11)? Do we need to spend more time with our families instead of on our devices?
Can we SEE past our temporary timelines when life doesn’t happen the way we THINK it should and seek the ONE who has an eternal lifeline and knows the plans He has for us?
What I see Jesus doing in this miracle (that I had not seen before) is this: Jesus is not so quick to move the parked car because there is an important lesson to be learned.
I believe Jesus was more concerned with healing the blind men’s spiritual hearts than restoring their physical eyesight. He was more concerned about their character than their comfort. He was more concerned about their eternal salvation than their temporary situation.
Matthew 6:33 calls us to “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God (above all else) and then … all these things shall be added unto you.” God is jealous for our hearts yet have we turned away and worshipped the things of this world? Have we misplaced the keys to the Kingdom of God for the keys of success, economic stability, job security, celebrity status, entertainment, health, busy schedules, and self-righteous “I-am-Going-to Get-the-Toilet-Paper-First” attitudes?
Has our vision for Christ been blinded by our driven achievements to:
- gain the titles
- earn the monetary status
- expand our businesses
- buy the new house
- build our college resumes
- win the championships
- grow our ministries
- collect the “likes”
Is the car parked because we need to back up and ask foundational questions about our faith? Are we just “convenient” Christians when life is good? Do we really believe IN Jesus and not just about Him? Have our biblical convictions slid into the complacency of culture? Perhaps we have become tolerant of different beliefs and behaviors that we have lost the ethics and morals of the One true God. Maybe we aren’t seeking Him FIRST, and He is blocking the way because He wants to open our blind eyes and heal our hearts, too.
But, He knows all too well that an instant miracle to our problems will not teach us the deeper lesson He wants to instill.
Sarah Young says this, “Every problem can teach you something transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be. The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall if you react with distrust and defiance. The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.”
Today, do you trust in the One who asked the blind men, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
Do you believe IN Jesus? Do you think Jesus can heal our world of the Corona virus?
But, maybe first we need to be still and give Him back the rightful keys.
Let’s back up and return the way we came. Our friend is waiting.
Let’s open our eyes and see Jesus as the ONE, “God’s only son that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Let’s love the Lord first with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves.
Yes, Lord, You are able to restore our vision and heal our world.
Thank you for parked cars and misplaced keys.
God’s Sovereignty and Trust in Christ:
1 Chronicles 29:11
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”
“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”