One night, my wife and I were leaving a "Shamu After Dark" show at Sea World in San Diego.
My wife kicked something, picked it up, and handed it to me. It was a wallet. I did not open it as nobody was close enough to talk to, and it was dark. I assumed I would be passing security at the gate, but this show exited straight into the parking lot. Returning to the main entrance would be entering the park as everyone left, and we were exhausted. The wallet came home with me.
At home, I opened the wallet; the only ID was from a consulate office outside of the USA. There was no return address for the owner of the wallet. There was about $1500 inside, and I kept the money to use on a home improvement project already in progress. I was stressing out over the project's cost, and my meager attempt to find the owner satisfied me. Well, for about five minutes. Then I felt miserable. So I prayed and prayed. I pleaded with God to give me another chance. And He did.
I parked at Costco to pick up photo enlargements. In the few minutes, it took me to pick up my photos and walk back to my car, the car next to me left. There was a shopping cart where that car had been and in the cart's seat was a purse with money coming out of the top like a flowery bouquet. I am not kidding. A money bouquet was coming from the top of a purse next to my car. No witnesses were there. Well yeah, God. He was there.
The security guard at the door of Costco was someone I knew. I had been in his home. Calvin. His wife Joyce worked with me for years at our local hospital. I took the purse in my arms, walked it straight to Calvin, and said I found this next to my car, and I am giving it to you. Calvin saw all the cash coming out of the top and said wow, someone is going to be happy you turned this in. He then asked, "Do you want to leave your name and number so the owner can thank you." I said no, "I just need to make this even," and said goodbye.
Who forgives Our Sins?
Make this even! Why would that come out of my mouth?
Yes, I can move on and feel good that I did the right thing. Except, A few years earlier, I had a near-death experience. I read a lot about NDEs and thought a lot about mine. But this was the year I was convicted to join a church and start really figuring this out. I knew enough that God was not looking for one good act to erase a bad one. We don't cancel our own sins. Our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus through no good works of our own.
Well, God knows what is in my heart, right?
Yeah, but I still grieved that my heart was not right when I turned in the purse. Life is not about coming out even. More prayers...
Before Christmas, my wife and I went into our mall's Sleep Number Store. I bought a $300 pillow for my neck. I paid for the pillow and took it home. A few days later, UPS delivered another pillow to our house. The identical $300 pillow I brought home. The store accidentally shipped me another one.
I admit I did covet this pillow, and I did wait until after Christmas to face the mall. But this time, I drove to the mall, went inside the store, and returned their pillow. An employee asked what I was returning, and I said, "This pillow belongs to you."
As I was heading out the store's glass doors, the employee YELLED out, "Thank you for your HONESTY!"
The lesson all along. Honesty. The word was actually yelled at me when I finally got it.
A wallet with $1500, a purse with hundreds of dollars, and a $300 pillow. All in one year. The year I started attending church. The year I wanted to know more about God.
Honesty is the foundation of trust. Trust is the foundation of relationships.
Never doubt God's grace and mercy. Never doubt that God answers prayers, and most importantly, never doubt that with God, it is about the relationship.
Yes, honesty matters. Don't fail the test.
Check out my blog post on the Apostle Peter never makeing it to Rome
Have you ever whined too much to the Holy Spirit?
#honesty #honestytest #doeshonestymatter #convictions #handsandfeet #godappointments #nde