Sunday, September 27, 2009
The ant and the contact lens
Here is a neat story recounted by Elisabeth Elliot, as told to her by Brenda Folz. The original version in the first person can be found here, on Elisabeth's website.
Lost and Found
It was Brenda's first climb. Halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff, she stood on a ledge and took a breather. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens . "Great," she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."
She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.
She felt anxiety rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she might find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of a partial verse, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."
She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it."
Perhaps when we carry something heavy that we can't understand, we can pray, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called!
Carry, trust and smile!
Note: This story is often wrongly attributed to people who forward it on email. But the real story comes from Brenda Folz via Elisabeth Elliot, and retold in Elisabeth's book, A Quiet Heart, under the title of "Lost and Found."
Note: I can believe this story, because I've had at least one similar story happen to me personally. You can read that story here: The Miracle of the Lost Lens.
Note: And remember that God doesn't always lead us to the items, even though He surely does know where they are! A good friend recounted a story of a lost item, in which God chose to answer with a larger lesson -- larger than the item itself! So always trust and hope!