I have a handful of songs in my repertoire that I play on the piano when the mood arises. They’re in my mind and muscle memory so take little effort to play. Some are favorite hymns that have sentimental value or sweet memories attached to them. Others are simple waltzes or sonatas. One of these songs is a medley of two hymns beloved by my husband, Abide with Me ‘Tis Eventide followed by a variation of the same title, Abide with Me. The sheet music is four pages. It’s available online, but I’ve cut and pasted and rewritten parts. I’ve spent time giving it my own expression.
A few years ago, the fourth page of Abide with Me/’Tis Eventide went missing. I have a blue tub full of sheet music. It contains loose pages, some filed in binders, some in books, and others in envelopes. The fourth page could have been shuffled away anywhere among thousands of printed music notes. More likely, knowing myself, it ended up in the trash can by accident. Either way, I searched diligently for my lost fourth page. I cleaned out the closet where I keep my sheet music. I pulled out the blue tub, went through all my binders and loose pages, opened every envelope, looked behind and under the piano to see if it had slipped down. My fourth page was nowhere to be found.
Last night I had some quiet time after the kids went to bed. I sat at the piano. The Abide with Me/’Tis Eventide medley sat at the top of the pile of sheet music on the corner of my piano. I picked it up and instead of three pages, there were four. What!! I was baffled. After two years of missing my fourth page, it somehow found its way back home to the piano. I immediately felt gratitude and my thoughts turned to God. I heard His voice in my mind remind me to not forget Him because He never forgets me.
In the parable of the lost sheep Christ leaves the 99 to find “the lost one”, but God’s children are never truly lost to Him. He knows exactly where they are and what brought them to any given moment. He knows every thought that wanders through their minds. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion of the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16
School was starting and I couldn't find one of my daughter’s light up Skechers. The bus would be at the street corner in a few minutes, but my daughter was crying in the garage because her shoe was missing. I gave her a different pair of shoes and rushed her out the door by promising to find the missing “soul”. When the house was quiet. I knelt and said a prayer. I had no idea where the shoe was, but I knew God did. I stood, walked to the couch, and leaned over the back. I pulled out a pile of blankets shoved in the corner. There it was, the sparkly neon light-up Skecher shoe.
He returned these items because they are important to me, not because they have eternal purpose. What does have eternal purpose is how God interacts with His children. God loves. He is kind. He gives. He took thought for a sheet of paper and a shoe, surely He will do more for His children. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10