About 7 years ago, I bought my musician son an acoustic-electric guitar for his birthday. There was a special sale on this guitar, because it was a “slim” model that had been recently discontinued, so while it originally sold for close to $2000, I was thrilled to have gotten it for $800 and had arranged to make 4 payments so that I would not stress our finances. He was excited to get it, and was able to play it with or without his amplifier. This made it possible for him to take it wherever he went.
I picked him up one day from the “Urbana Gazebo” where he had met some friends after school, played a few songs, and left it aside unattended for a few moments, only to discover that someone had stolen it. I hadn’t even made the first payment on it! He apologized profusely, but that didn’t help me recover this expense, and it made me angry that he was so irresponsible with such an expensive gift. I filed a report with the police department.
Later I went back to the Gazebo area to look around assuming someone may have tossed it under bushes to wait until nightfall or to see if anyone might be walking around with it, but to no avail. I was upset and cried out to God…”Lord…I haven’t even paid for the thing yet! I know that this is a small thing in the scheme of world affairs, but we don’t have the kind of money that we can afford to just lose it like this!” I continued to pray in like manner for the duration of my car ride, and in conclusion promised God “Alright, I’ll search Ebay, I’ll post a stolen guitar notice online, tomorrow, I’ll post a notice at the church in the neighborhood in case a parent recognizes that this might be the guitar their kid happen to bring home, and then I’ll stop at a couple of pawn shops with the posters…but after having done that, I’ll just let it go”.
After posting the message online, I created a poster with a picture of the guitar, and included the serial number and contact phone number. The following morning, I drove to the church in Urbana, to ask if I might be able to post this poster on their bulletin board. There was a lot delay waiting for the people to figure out who had the authority to allow me to post this notice, but I finally got the “OK”. I only knew of 2 pawn shops in Frederick so in order to consolidate my driving, I first went to the one on Route 40 west of the “Golden Mile”.
I walked in to the pawn shop and the man immediately in front of me had an open guitar case on the counter, with guitar in hand, discussing with the shop employee how much he should get for this guitar. I immediately recognized the guitar and cried out “Is that a Takamine? Is that a Takamine?” (pronounced Tak-a-mee-nee) The shop owner looked at me as he saw me waving a paper adding “My son just had his Takamine stolen yesterday…check the serial number!!!”. Oddly, the one who brought in the guitar looked straight ahead, as if he didn’t hear a word I said, or was in another dimension altogether. Another employee, or perhaps owner, waved me down to the other end of the counter and whispered “That is your son’s guitar, let us take the guys information, you don’t want to scare him out of the store taking your son’s guitar with him”.
A few days later I picked up the guitar at the Police station. I believe the Lord was not so concerned with the return of the guitar, as He was in showing me His Divine Providence in action. If it weren’t for the delay at that church, the timing would have been different. What were the odds of coming into the store, just moments after the thief to identify my property he was trying to sell? I’ve learned to trust the Lord’s timing, He is in control!