Lessons from a Lost Master Card

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

I carry a Master Card for identification and rare, unforeseen expenses. Noël and I quit using it a year ago after the personal finance seminar with Doug Anderson. We have not overspent our monthly budget since. We use checks and cash for everything now. So we know how much we have spent before the horrible reckoning at the end of the month.

But I still carry it. I took it to California and lost it on vacation. I had no idea where it was. It could have been in the seal show at Sea World. It could have been in the fruit shop in Tijuana where the bees covered the watermelon. It could have been in who knows how many McDonalds, or on the beach in Coronado, California, where the sand really is gold and the condos sell for one and a quarter million. (We were swimming, not shopping.) I had no idea where it was.

But the wonderful thing is that I felt no worries. Now, mind you, that’s not natural for me. I am by nature a pessimist, and under ordinary circumstances I would have concluded that someone had already charged the limit on my card. I would usually get mad at myself or my family and take out my frustration on everybody. I would look hard for some divine purpose in all the trouble and have an awful time being happy.

But this time it was different. I felt no worries at all. I didn’t get angry with anyone. I never felt any frustration. I was happy the whole way through. What a victory! The whole time it was lost I went about my business as usual, trusted God, and loved my family. And when I got back from vacation, there it was in an envelope. Dr. Fuller, my former teacher (and son of Charles Fuller), had mailed it to me. I had dropped it in his car.

Do you know what the secret to my happiness was? I never knew I had lost the card until I saw it in Minneapolis.

I stood there holding it in my hand and smiling. Just think of how feisty I would have been if I had known I lost it. Think how depressed and worried and angry and frustrated and irritable I would have been. And the whole time the card was safely on the way to Minneapolis. Now, is there not a lesson in this? There is for me. It’s this: As soon as we discover we have a problem, God has already been working on it and the solution is on the way.

I have seen it happen again and again in my life. A letter arrives with the solution to some problem. But just the day before I had been discouraged and downcast, not knowing that the letter was already in the mail.

If we believe in the God of Romans 8:28, we will always remember that by the time we know a problem exists, God has already been working on it and his solution is on the way. Therefore, fret not. Cast all your anxieties on him. They are as unnecessary as mine would have been for the lost Master Card.


Pastor John