Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
I sent Dee Dee, my daughter an e-card, saying how much I loved her and missed her—she responded: “me too.”
She moved away 20 years ago, the day after her wedding, now we only see our kids and grandkids occasionally. Before their marriage, her husband Roger was stationed at Loring A.F.B. in Caribou, Maine. They were married on June 15, 1991, while he was home on leave. The next day, They moved to Maine and seemingly fell from the face of the earth.
I believe the Lord had been preparing me for her departure for a couple of years by allowing my daughter to become “the girl that lived in the room at the end of the hall.” I would only see her when she went into her room and periodically as she exited. Anyway, puff; she was gone. She did call and tell us that Caribou wasn’t the end of the world, but she could definitely see it from there. I didn’t understand the significance of that statement until we decided to embark on a “Go see our Baby” adventure. At first, it seemed simple enough; we would fly from St. Louis to Boston, Massachusetts, take a two-man dogsled to Bangor, Maine and then ride a moose the last 250 miles to Caribou. However, it was not so easy.
We arrived in Boston and I sent Mollie to pick up the rental car while I fought the baggage carousel crowd. As I approached Mollie, I found out my luggage warfare was simplistic compared to what she was going through. She was standing at the rental car counter with her hands on her hips, starring at the clerk, as he stood fixed in the same position glaring back at her. “Honey, what’s wrong,” I asked, “did they get our reservation mixed up?” She responded, “I don’t know, I can’t understand a word he’s saying.” I then asked the clerk if there was a problem and he said, “The only problem was that I didn’t understand a word she said.” They were both speaking English, but Alabamian and Bostonian are not compatible and therefore needed a translator. So, I interpreted; we got the car and got on the road. We were making good time until we noticed the “Moose Crossing” signs, so we slowed down.
After eighteen grueling hours of hard travel time and too many “Griswall Family Vacation” horrors to mention—we finally arrived at our daughter and son-in-law’s front door, living room, bedroom and the good night sleep tights. It was great to both see and be with our kids. The hardships of the journey vanished. We reveled in the presence of our loved ones, not even considering the difficulty of the trip. We were happy campers.
Recently, during a trying time at work, I said, “Father where are You?” In my heart, I heard Him reply, “Find Me. What? You know the number of hairs on my head, how many stars there are in the sky, my every thought and I’m supposed to find You.” Then I heard, “Remember Caribou, why did you go?” I heard myself saying aloud, “Because I love my daughter and I wanted to be with her—I missed her.” There was silence—then more silence, until I recalled the verse about seeking and finding Him when I do it with all my heart. I asked myself if I had to play hide and seek just to be with the Father until I thought it through. God does not hide from us; nonetheless, He does dwell in a secret place, awaiting our presence. It is in His presence that we will find love and joy unspeakable.
I turned off the lights in my office, eased the door shut and started my journey into His secret chamber. It didn’t take long until I heard myself saying, “Hello Father, thank You for being here when I needed You. Thank You for never leaving me. Thank You Father for letting me find You. Please help me to remember that you are always right here in front of me, if I will just close my eyes and open my heart and seek You.” Thank You Lord that this isn’t Caribou, Maine.