Time and Again

How lost things are found

By Steve Oh

Since I became a believer I have maintained an attitude of trust in Jesus in all things. For 45 years now I have lived by Philippians 4:6,7, “ be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God….’’ I pray about big things and small things, for example for umpteen times over the years I have appealed to God, “Lord, help me find my car keys.”   No, it is not because I am absent-minded. Car keys seem to have legs and like to play hide-and-seek. And they don’t hide in a regular spot. 

I have had incredible answers in search of the missing keys. I usually brood in a spirit of prayer, sometimes over the whole day and mentally and physically try to retrace my steps. There were times my head suddenly moved in a direction and I spotted what I was looking for. Sometimes hunches have proven wrong, but God is always there to reassure me. 


That day after retracing my steps on my 5-acre block where I’m building my new house I gave up looking for my phone. There was no sudden moving of my head in a particular direction and no hint of something extraordinary. I figured the hand-phone must have dropped out of my jacket. Ecclesiastes came to mind. The particular idea says there is a time to search and a time to give up. For the first time in the ‘Lost and Found’ story of my life of missing articles, I gave up. 

I smiled at God and as is my habit of ‘giving thanks in all things’, praised Him for not helping me find my hand-phone. ‘’Thank you, Lord, I praise you for the missing phone.’’ My concern was not so much for the 4-year old Huawei phone itself but the photos and phone numbers it contained.

I regretted not backing them up. I was resigned to not getting my prayer answered and decided I had to get a new sim card. I knew God had a lesson for me in his usual manner of looking after me in all things and planning something better. In my walk with God he has proven time and again he always has something better when my prayers are not answered, or things happened not in the way I desired. I trust God 100 per cent. 

I hurriedly went to the nearby Optus shop. The shop assistant wasn’t particularly helpful except giving me another sim card. Then I went to the local cafe I frequent. I recalled Mike who worked in another Optus shop could be there too, half hoping to see him. I did see him there at his mother -in -law’s cafe and was delighted. 

“Mike, I lost my phone” I told him.  As I ate the tasty Rochor noodles at the table, Mike who sat down beside me surprised me. He had asked me for details about my phone and soon enough there on his phone* was a live image of a radiating spot, sending out circular waves indicating where my mobile phone was hiding – right in the middle of the 5-acre land! 

After finishing my meal, I drove Mike to my land. It was pitch dark. Mike called my phone but heard nothing.  As I had changed the sim card my missing phone would not ring but emit a sound which we didn’t hear. Mike turned on his mobile phone torchlight and in a in a matter of seconds we found my missing phone – no further than a few steps from where I had stopped my car. My phone felt damp and cold as I wiped away the winter night dew on it. 

Was I surprised? No. Just glad that God has a sense of humour and a dramatic way of telling me of a phone app to locate a missing phone that works on androids. I always knew “God answers prayers, still,” as George Mueller, the ‘Man of Faith’ once said. In my mind, I knew if a prayer is not answered as we want, God always has something better. Always. 


There is another icing on the cake in my story. The other day after I parked my car in my usual spot on my 5-acre land, a thought suddenly entered my mind to reverse park it. I usually forward park. Having done that, I trudged through the tall grass toward the building site. My eyes suddenly looked down on the grass and were greeted with the unbelievable sight of the key to my old Mercedes car. I had not even missed it – yet. It was incredible God led me to my only key and saved me long and laborious hours trying to find it later, if at all!

God cares for us to the finest details even without our knowledge and praying. Jesus affirmed that God knows everything from the number of hairs on our head to the falling sparrow because ‘He cares for us’. 1 Peter 5:7. There is no accident with God, only incident. There is no coincidence with God, only event and they are all part of his plan for us. God cares for us despite our failings and undeserved privilege.

When God is in control nothing is out of control. He takes care of the big things and small things in our lives. That is why we have the blessing of being able to call him ‘Abba, Father’ and receiving from his hand all good things. ‘’Ask, that you may receive, and your joy will be full.’’ John 16:24. It was the first lesson on prayer I learned as a brand-new believer in Jesus shortly after I was born again in Easter 1973.  In the ensuing years, God continues to teach me new lessons in trusting Him and the efficacy of prayer. 

Steve Oh lives in Perth, Australia with his wife Sara. He is author of the novel Tiger King of the Golden Jungle and a musical based on it. Every morning for many years Steve as he waters by hand his many potted plants he prayed for Malaysia that wrongdoing politicians might be uprooted. The recent regime changes and what is unraveling in Malaysia is the anticipated result of years of intercessory prayer by God’s faithful people everywhere and God alone deserves the glory. 

*Log into Google to use the app Find my mobile. Dial your number and your phone will ring. If your sim card has stopped because you think you lost the phone it will still emit a sound, so you know where the phone is.  iPhone has its own system. Just search Find my phone or Locate My Phone



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