My dear husband is a big fan of the Chicago Bears football team. So for his sixtieth birthday, I decided to surprise him with a weekend in Chicago and tickets to a game in Soldier Field. I was thrilled to find a deal on tickets. I booked a Boutique Hotel and purchased two train tickets to get us there. Excitement rose in me as I anticipated surprising him and the great time we would have!
We needed to get up very early to catch our train, and so I ended up telling my husband the plan the night before. My heart soared when I saw the look of disbelief and joy on his face!
Arriving the day before the game, we got settled in our chic, large hotel room and went to dinner at Mike Ditka’s restaurant, where my husband got to meet and briefly chat with the old coach of the Bears; icing on the cake!
The next day was game day! We toured the town a bit in the morning and then went to have a light lunch near our hotel before heading over to the stadium. Before we left the restaurant, I looked down at my purse hanging on my chair. It didn’t look right; things were out of place. My heart froze, and life slowed down like cold molasses pouring out. With dread and a silent prayer, I examined my purse and realized my wallet was gone! The shock and sense of panic turned my mind to pea soup and made it difficult to think clearly. I was in another country with no money, no credit cards, no identity and the game was starting in three hours!! The ensuing nightmare of navigating a foreign police investigation and cancelling all my credit cards left me exhausted, teary-eyed and demoralized. I felt naked and stripped of who I was.
Anxiously I paced around the hotel room, between bouts of tears, beating myself up for not being more careful and prayed for the Lord’s help. Amid the turmoil, I remembered what the Word says. We are not to be find our identity in the things or people of this world. Our identity is to be found in Christ and Christ alone. It didn’t matter if I had a piece of paper telling people who I was; I knew, and God knew! I am a child of the Living God, joint heir with Christ and daughter of the King!
It is easy to get lured into thinking other people and things will give us the significance and love we desire and will provide us with a sense of who we are; our purpose. Invariably though, they will get stolen, fall short or disappear. When they do we are left feeling angry, disappointed, empty, lost, and desperately wondering who we are. The truth is there is only one place where we can find the significance, love and freedom we desire. By putting our faith and hope in Christ and following Him.
A personal relationship with Christ and reading scripture tells us who we were meant to be and why. We can rest in the knowledge that we were created to love and glorify the Lord. As Ephesians 2:10 says, God created us to do good works. He has a plan for our life, a good plan, a plan for abundant life and freedom in Him. The best thing about His plan is He will always be with us in it and through it. We are never lost; our identity is never lost!
As I remembered that truth, my heart and mind settled, and I felt a calmness flow over me. I was able to leave things in His hands and decided I was not going to let that thief ruin our trip. We had done what we could and went to enjoy the game. It brought me great joy to see my husband’s dream come true and share it with him.
Dear ones, let us remind each other continually who we are and who our Father is. He is trustworthy and able to see the plan for our life to fruition. Our job is to believe, trust and obey. Then we will be protected from identity theft.