The problem with falling behind on journaling and also blogging, is that you must summarize a whole period into one entry, and then it quickly becomes too lengthy, so you shorten your writing and obviously shrink your memories and learning opportunities. Another unfortunate result is that you also forget some key elements of what has happened and the life lessons accompanying them. This is exactly what has happened with my reporting on Marseille – I did not include a few (3, to be exact) key elements in my blog. Luckily I have enough time to reflect and think back again, to remember and write again. The problem is just (and this is now a short interrupting lesson for myself), that back home, while on the run and busy, there is not always time to re-reflect and to re-write. That way valuable lessons might fall on the ground and not in the heart. The lesson for me now, is to not postpone, to stay on schedule and to do it now and do it right! (sounds as if I read Tinus's blog on lessons learnt in Germany!) The only way to do this, is to plan and do, plan and do – never think that I will have time tomorrow, because tomorrow will be full of tomorrow's stuff, so do today's stuff today! Woa! That was not planned when I started with my blog on keys, but somehow God managed to take my thoughts there and re-taught me a valuable lesson, as if preparing me for what awaits me back home.
Back to Marseille and the key elements that I've missed on my first round. It is all about miracles God performed there with keys. Not once, but 3 times!
Miracle nr.1 : Arriving at house nr. 1, we found a young French boy there, mowing the lawn and getting things ready for our arrival. He also had the key to the house, but there was a problem: the key was stuck in the lock. It did not want to move and the door was unable to open. We could understand from his signs that he has tried everything, but with no success. We all tried, different tricks and ways, but the key and lock was stuck. There was no way to enter the house. After 30 minutes of struggling, we stood together and prayed. We asked God that the key will unlock the door, will come out of the lock, so that we can unlock the second lock on the door as well. We tried again, simply turning and pulling the key. It worked! It did exactly what it was suppose to do – unlock the door! I still do not know who of us or the Frenchman was the most surprised, but I do know that our voices said: "Praise the Lord!" and he said something that I could not understand. We had to agree, God is also Lord of stubborn keys. And we had to repent for trying such a long time before asking specifically for His help. The evenings prayers included many thank you's for unlocking the door for us!
Miracle nr.2: Our house had only one door, with 3 locks. The one on top in which the key was stuck, which we never used again. Another lock at the bottom on which that same key worked which was the only lock we used. The third lock, in the middle. was a jail lock (that you can lock from the inside without a key) for which we did not have a key, so obviously we did not use that lock. The first afternoon excursion happened a few days after our arrival in Marseille. We took special care to close all the windows tightly. It was a team effort to try to maneuver the car from the garden into the narrow street in which 4 family members took part, while the other was locking the door. We had a special afternoon visiting the Church on top of the Hill, the church where over centuries, seaman went to give thanks for safe journeys on stormy seas and ask for protection for the next journey. We had a blessed time. Back home we unlocked the lock that is the only one suppose to be locked, but the door did not want to open. Then we saw that the middle lock was locked! How is that possible?! We tried all the keys, but we definitely did not have the key for that lock. Then the locker realized that he was not concentrating earlier and did lock the lock from the inside, before pulling the door shut – the lock was locked. There was no other way into the house, except for breaking a window, which we obviously did not want to do. By now, we have learnt our lessons and everyone was praying for a breakthrough – or shall I say a break-in. The next moment the door opened and Dawie stood there with a piece of wire in his hand and a smile on his face. He has unlocked the lock with a piece of wire! I guess by now you know our shout: "Praise the Lord!" Again we had to agree, God is Lord of locks as well, and He can and wants to help, even if it was our own mistake which caused the problem. The evenings prayers included many thank you's for unlocking the door for us – once again! We know that God not only protect those on the stormy waters of the seas, but also in the normal storms and unsteady waters of the every day life.
Miracle nr.3: We moved to house nr.2 and had to phone the neighbor, who you guessed right, speaks French, to organize with him when we will be at the house. We said we will come on the Sunday some time after 17h00. The cleaning of house nr. 1 took longer than planned for and the traffic right across the city was a nightmare, so we reached the new house only after 18h00. It was securely locked with no one in sight. The neighbors spoke only French and were not helpful at all. We did not have a phone to call again and no other plan of how to enter. Charlie and Dawie J walked up the street to see if the house has a back side, but it did not. By now, we were all praying: "Please get us into the house?" An old Frenchman came walking to us, scolding in fluent French, pointing to his watch. He has the key to the house, and someone phoned him to say to be at the house at 17h00, and when no one was there then, he went back home. His house is way up the road. He by accident saw the 2 boys walking past his house, talking a strange language and he thought to see where they are going. He found us at the locked house. We apologized for being late and he gave us the key. Yes, we all said: "Praise the Lord!" Again we had to agree, God is Lord of locks as well, and He can and wants to help, even if it was our own mistake which caused the problem and even if other people are involved. The evenings prayers included many thank you's for unlocking the door for us – once again!
Within 3 weeks, we experienced how God performed 3 miracles with keys. Yes, even something as practical and real as a locked door is not too difficult for God. The lesson to take away? God is almighty and can do anything. He is faithful and loving and He really cares for us. He not only can help, but wants to help in all circumstances. He wants us to ask. Why, if He in any case knows what we need? He knows it will grow our faith if we ask and see a prayer answered, He knows that it is good for us to realize how dependant we are on God, He knows that small victories can lead to bigger victories later, He is God.
I am so glad that I know Him. May my life bring glory to His Name!