A Key of Answered Prayer
When you sit down to find your mower keys, you’d better find a comfortable chair.

Let’s get something out of the way straight off the bat. Yes, I was a little girl who played with dolls and stuffed animals. But that was only occasionally. What I really liked was climbing trees and going on scavenger hunts and scraping up my knees—and mowing the lawn.

Yes, I loved mowing the lawn. More than that, I loved just driving the lawn mower around the farm with the yellow wagon attached, hauling important things like buckets, tools and my sister. Plus, it was like having a car, kind of.

Now that we have that out in the open, we can move along in the story. One fine afternoon on our farm in Georgia, the task was given to me to mow the lawn. I was thrilled. Yes. Yes. YES! No problemo. Now I don’t have to dust!

My excitement was soon shattered when the keys weren’t in their normal place. I raced into the kitchen. “Mom! I can’t find the keys!” I exclaimed, fully expecting her to use her mom powers and pull them out of thin air.

“Well, then look for them so you can mow,” she answered.

Right. Surely it won’t be that hard to find them.

I started the grueling process of looking for the keys by going and asking every sibling if they had seen them. The answer was a definite no from each of them. The last hope was to ask my dad.

“Rachel, you’re the last one to have the keys. You just need to go find where you put them.”

Rats. Now I really have to look for them.

So the search began. I looked under every rug, desk, table and dog in the house. Thirty minutes later, panic set in. First off, I really wanted to go mow, but that required having the keys. Second, I was really starting to worry about my lack of competence when it came to putting things back in their place.

I made my way back into the kitchen where my mom and dad were.

“I really can’t find the keys! I’ve looked everywhere!” I said as I lay on the kitchen floor with a dramatic flop.

My dad looked at me and calmly said, “Then you keep looking for them, and we will be outside getting the yard work done. If you still can’t find them, then maybe there is something else you need to do.”

Something else? What does that mean?

My family all went outside and started on their individual tasks. I looked out the window in a panicked frenzy. There are only 3.254789 hours of sunlight left! I’ll never get to mow!

I decided to treat this as a personal state of emergency and get really serious about the searching process. I convinced myself that I could find it if I looked long and hard enough. So I searched high and low in the house, even making sure that I had thoroughly checked my bed by ripping the sheets off. Minutes passed as I went from room to room, looking in every nook and cranny possible and probably invading people’s spaces. I had been searching for so long that my brother came back inside to check on me.

“Rachel, Dad wants to know if you’ve found the keys,” he said.

“No, and I’ve searched everywhere! What do I do?” I asked.

“You should probably pray about it.” And with that, he walked back outside.

Of course! That’s what Dad meant when he said that there was something else I needed to do.

I sat down in a chair in the living room, feeling pretty dumb. How had I not thought of that option already?

I realized that I had determined that I was going to find the key, and that I was going to solve the issue by myself. My whole problem was trying to do it by myself instead of asking God for help.

Looking for keys to a lawn mower seems pretty meaningless, but the lesson behind it is immensely important, and I think that’s what my dad was trying to get me to realize.

No matter how small the problem, our first response should be to take it to God. God wants to be involved in everything we do, but He will wait on us to choose to involve Him. He is always there willing to help us, but we need to want His help. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Did you know that God even knows what we need before we ask for it? (Matthew 6:8). He wants us to rely on His power and strength instead of our own. Sure, we are capable of achieving day-to-day tasks successfully, but in the grand scheme of things, our own might is insignificant. Matthew 19:26 reminds us that all things are possible with God, and that is what I was learning while searching for the lawn mower keys. When it came down to it, I couldn’t even find a physical object in my own house without His help. God tells us that He will help us and direct our paths if we trust in Him instead of ourselves (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I had trusted in myself to find the keys. I’m not saying that having drive and determination is a bad thing. We should all put forth the effort to push ourselves, but I was thoroughly convinced that I could do it on my own. The self-reliant attitude behind the action is what prodded my dad to hint at me to take another approach.

Needless to say, it all worked out. Shortly after sitting in the chair, I prayed about it. It wasn’t complicated; it was just a worn-out little girl genuinely asking God to help her to find the keys.

After praying, I stood up and looked around the room. Where have I not looked yet?

I turned back around and eyed the chair I was just sitting in. It can’t be that easy.

I slowly grabbed hold of the chair cushion and lifted up. No way. I think I stared at them for 30 seconds before I decided to pick them up—before they could run away again.

I’m not exactly sure how they got there, since the sitting place I usually took was on the couch. It didn’t make sense to me, but now I’m convinced that it was God just trying to teach me a lesson. And the lawn still got mowed.