Gratitude Helps Find Missing Passport

A woman prayerfully gives gratitude to God—and soon finds her missing passport!

ByTara Shingle, East Windsor, NJ

Categories: Gratitude, Gratitude (Thanksgiving), Guidance

I was getting ready to leave for a foreign country to live and work for a while. It was three days before my flight, and I couldn't find my passport. I had assumed it would "turn up," but finally I had to face the fact that I really didn't know where it was or what to do. I sat down at the dining room table and started to pray. First, I reached out to God for inspiration, and then I began to declare to myself: "God is omnipotent, so He controls all aspects of my life; I am God's child, so there isn't anything I lack." That calmed me down and enabled me to think more clearly. But it felt as if there was something I wasn't understanding. I thought about how to deal directly with the problem of not having something I needed, and then I remembered how Christ Jesus dealt with it. There was a time when 5,000+ people were with him, and they all needed food. But all they had were a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Feeding 5000+ with that little of food seemed impossible, but Jesus didn't see it that way. He encouraged the people to be calm and rest. Then the first thing he did was give thanks!

And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would." (John 6:10-11)

I knew that I could give thanks, too. I thanked God for my life, for loving me, and for making me able to love, and able to understand Him. Then I wondered if there was something else I should pray about, but I couldn't think of anything, so I just kept silently expressing gratitude.

All of a sudden, I remembered that the last time I was carrying my passport. I was wearing a certain jacket that I don't usually wear. I got up from the table, went to the closet, reached into the pocket of that jacket, and my hand closed around the passport.

For a while I just stood there in awe. God had led me so quickly and so directly to the thing I needed. I had only been sitting at the table for about five minutes. And I realized that gratitude is enough, that my prayers of thanks had fulfilled the need. They enabled me to hear God and receive His blessing, just as the 5000+ were able to receive the benefits of gratitude:

When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. (John 6: 12-13)

I am happy that I was able to put Jesus' teachings into practice. When I got onto that plane, I had my passport and all my documents and luggage with me, and nothing was lost in traveling. And the experience abroad changed my life in so many ways for the better.