A week ago last Friday I was in the Paris airport at the tail end of an amazing 17-day trip to Ireland and Normandy. I had turned in a rented car and was going to take the train on into town for a couple days.
The airport was not air-conditioned. It was 210 degrees in the shade. There were a million people scurrying around. And I love being bumped and shoved indiscriminately. I could not figure out how to work the kiosk to purchase a train ticket. My credit cards would not work (no chip!).
And then it happened. A pickpocket got my wallet.
I discovered it once I got on the train. He or she got my passport, my credit cards, my money, several blank checks etc. To say that I was distraught is a colossal
understatement. Nothing like being in a foreign country on a Friday afternoon with the embassy closed until Monday and you are supposed to fly out on Sunday!
Truth is, the Lord showed Himself incredibly faithful. 30 hours later they found my wallet with everything in it but the cash. American Express wired some money and I made my flights home.
But here is what I observed and hopefully “learned.”
In spite of a life spent focused on Christ (which I hope mine is), I like everyone else, have built a kind of scaffolding around myself… a sort of safety ring. I have savings, a car that runs well, financial resources, credit cards, a current passport, friends who will help etc. And none of those things in and of themselves are bad.
But when all that was snatched away in an instant, I was deeply shaken and felt INCREDIBLY vulnerable.
I was forced to once again recognize that ultimately “things” do not support or protect me. Christ and Christ alone is my sufficiency. The words of Psalm 62 reverberated through my soul that afternoon:
“Truly my soul finds rest in God, my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, and I will never be shaken…. Yes, my soul finds rest in God, my hope comes from Him.”
It shouldn’t take a pickpocket experience to remind me of that, but it did. And I am grateful.