Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Am About To Burst To Tell The Rest Of This Story...

I've always wanted to be like Paul Harvey and say... "And now, for the rest of the story..." Today I have my chance! Something AMAZING, beyond anything I would have dreamed or imagined, has happened...BUT if you haven't read the post before this one, on What I Love About Zack, read that first...then this story will mean a lot more!

Every summer Zack's orthodontist office does a postcard contest for summer vacations...I can't remember all of the categories, but I figured we were a shoe in for Fartherest Away. I had planned to mail the postcard while we were in China, but I couldn't even remember to buy a postcard, much less get it mailed...I was a little distracted!

So, the day we left to come home, I realized at the airport, in Guangzhou, that I still hadn't purchased any the last minute, just as we were getting ready to board the plane, I ran into a little shop in the terminal and grabbed the only box of postcards they had...and paid WAY too much for them! I almost didn’t buy them…

At Zack's next appointment, I decided to just take one in. Since it was early September, I figured we were too late, but turned out, there was still another week left in the contest, so they accepted it. I kept watching our e-mail, but when we never received a notice, I just figured someone had gone even farther than us. I had completely forgotten about it...until today.

Zack had another appointment and as I was checking out, Zack said, "Mom, look, we had the postcard that was the fartherest away!" It was posted on a bulletin board behind him! So I just said to the lady at the desk, "That's cool, we had the postcard that was furtherest away."

She looked up with this surprised expression and said, "Didn't anyone call you?" No...I never heard anymore about it... She jumped up, walked back to another room and came out carrying...

Are you ready for this? A brand new IPOD, just like the one that was stolen! We had NO idea that there was even a prize for this contest...we thought it was just the honor of having your name posted!

And the thing is, Zack's IPOD that was stolen was a refurbished one...he had ordered it to save money, so every once in a while, there would be a little glitch...nothing big, but occasionally we had to reset it... This was NEW!!

Zack took one look at my face and said, "Ah mom, don't cry!" But I couldn't stop my eyes from welling up...he's lucky that I didn't just let the tears flow, like they were threatening to know...that BIG lump in your throat, that somehow holds back the tears, but, if anyone looks at you, or if you try and speak, will break and the flood will come...that was me. I think if we hadn't been standing in the office, in front of so many people, I would have just sobbed!

So, they call Dr. A. to come up front and have his picture made with Zack… I felt compelled to tell him what had happened…I didn’t bring our faith into it, I simply said that “Zack had his IPOD stolen last week, and even though he’s pretty sure he’s knows who did it, he decided not to push it since he couldn’t prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.” And then I mentioned that the kid he suspects is a troubled young man…

Dr. A looked at us and said, “See what faith can do!” I had ABSOLUTELY no idea where he stood…we’ve never discussed it…he had no idea where we stood!

I realize that many, who don’t live by faith, would argue that this is just a grand coincidence… But I will emphatically say that I do NOT, in any way believe in coincidence…and even more so when so many events transpired to perfectly time this to happen after Zack made a choice to live for something bigger than an IPOD, putting this other child’s heart before his own rights.

Does God ALWAYS bless us, or reward our obedience so visibly? Of course not. Would He still be a good God, even if this hadn’t happened? ABSOLUTELY…

But sometimes, God pauses in the midst of eternity and blows our socks off…I am so completely overwhelmed…but what’s even more important…Zack is overwhelmed! What God did for his faith in that moment…Zack will never forget. Zack made a choice to live in light of eternity and God blessed his obedience!

So maybe you’re wondering, how can we even believe that God of the universe even cares about a 15 year old and his IPOD? Fair question…but the Bible says that He numbers the hairs on our heads…if He cares about how many hairs we have, which changes from moment to moment…why wouldn’t He care about a 15 year old’s disappointment…

Zack has used that IPOD as a testimony…he openly shares what he has on it with his friends, and it’s far different than some of the stuff that they listen to…it’s full of Christian rock… it has other, non-Christian music too…but we’re careful to check the lyrics before we put it on there.

And for the couple of friends that know about this at school, and what his decision was to not pursue it, there’s no telling how this will speak to them.

Matthew 7:11b says, " much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him." God is an amazing, perfect Father...I have no doubt that He LOVES to bless us, even more than we can think to even ask...

When I think about how I love for our kids to open gifts that we are excited to give them, it's fun to imagine heaven at the moment the lady brought out the IPOD...I wonder if God said to the angels..."Come here for a minute and watch this?" Maybe, maybe not... But I have no doubt that God was watching and smiling as He waited for us to unwrap this unbelievable blessing!

Our God is so BIG that He can use anything to bless us and increase our faith, even an IPOD!

P.S. He said, "This one will not be going to school!" What an awesome remembering stone! Way to go God!!


Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

What an awesome story- thanks for sharing!

Also- back a zillion years ago when I was in high school and had those big calculators- our math teachers would offer to engrave them so that they were less likely to get lost/stolen. If math teachers still do this, you might ask one to engrave the Ipod with Zach's name to help future sticky fingers just walk away.

Patientlywaiting said...

What an awesome story, Sharla! It gave me goosebumps! I just love when God does things like that! You are inspiring me to start my own what I love about (insert name here) posts. I may do that in the near future. Thanks for sharing with us.


April Isaacs said...

I was so excited when I heard this story I screamed! Then i had to read it... aloud.. to the whole family. When I read about your eyes welling up, mine did too! If I wasn't sending my kids in 3 different directions tonight and trying to get back home at the time my friend arrives from Chicago.... I so wanted to call you!

Oh,and, my whole body was one huge goosebump. I am going to have to go shave my legs now. (remember when I said that to you right before you went to China!)

How great is that that God would show himself to Zack like that!! I love stories like that!!

Yea God!!
Big hugs,

Naomi said...

It was so exciting to read!! I am praising the Lord with you for the impact this will have on your son. God is so faithful and so good. He does like to give us good gifts and showers us with blessing after blessing. i know that I will refer to this story in the future when encouraging my sons to choose to do the right thing.
Make sure Zack writes this down for himself!!! He will need to be reminded of God's faithfulness always!
Blessings to you,

Katy said...

hee hee I read your blog silently too. What a great story and huge story of blessing your son got to witness. Sometimes it is so nice when faithfulness is rewarded quickly :-). he'll never forget. It wasn't just an ipod--this is one of those stories he can keep in his heart.

babslb said...

Oh yeah - Heaven was watching! Tell Zach congrats on a brand NEW Ipod!

Jeff said...

Hi Sharla--

Great story! Zack sounds like a kid to be proud of.

Thanks for leaving the comment on my blog. I always enjoy visiting the blogs of those who read mine. I recognized your pictures once I got there. My wife has interacted with you through RQ and Yahoo Groups.


Jen said...

Now that is a God story. Thanks for sharing!

Recently, my little one was attached to a particular library book - so much so that she took it in the car, in her room, etc., instead of keeping it in our library book bag with the others. Well, you guessed it, she lost it. Then one night, the night before we planned to do an all out search, we prayed for God to help us find it, and the next morning I moved a certain toy, and there it was. My little girl was so excited. I believe that God is in the little details as much as the big ones. I believe that He led me to that book to show her just that! He cares so much.

Shannon Seibert said...

What an amazing story. What an amazing God.

I've been listening to Toby Mac all week and thought of this song for the young man who owns the "original" Ipod. I also thought that God lead Zack to be in the light and now look at how brightly His Light shines for all of us to see!!!

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from You
I am the king of excuses
I've got one for every selfish thing I do

What's going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I'm still a man in need of a Savior

I wanna be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

The disease of self runs through my blood
It's a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

Tell me, what's going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I'm still a man in need of a Savior

Leslie said...

Amazing! I LOVE IT when God shows off like this. Thank you for sharing this story and you must be very proud of your son Zack.

BTW, I am going to try that gum chewing thing at Jackson's next soccer game. Trouble is, he is only 6 but I still get so "Mamabearish" sometimes, especially when those "big kids" (they are only 6 too but he is just little) take him out at the knees! ;)

PLEASE let me know if you visit your family here in town so we can meet!!! I'd just love to chat awhile!

Laurie McLean said...

Sharla, I love reading that Zach's compassion was rewarded! So nice. You are an awesome mom! Laurie