Our youngest son, Travis, was an innocent 9 years old, but he had carefully saved his allowance like a mature adult. He wanted me to take him shopping. He wanted to buy his brother a Christmas gift!
It was the week before Christmas. As an immature mother of two, I was making self-centered decisions: completing Christmas decorations the way I wanted them to look, planning and preparing for the Christmas dinner I wanted, and shopping and packing for our family ski trip. My agenda was full.
Trav came asking me for the 5th time to take him shopping, and I knew I had to comply.
We jumped into the car and nervously, I explained my plan to give him Christmas shopping time. “Trav, I have grocery shopping still to do. There is a grocery store across the street from the mall. While you shop, I will get my groceries, and be back in 30 minutes. Meet me at this exact same door where I’m dropping you off in 30 minutes.” “OK Mom,” he smiled and happily disappeared through the giant Mall Doors.
My heart dropped!!! I had just dropped off my precious, sweet, defenseless son at the Mall, in a Christmas crowd! Completely convicted, and heart-sick at the thought of what could happen, I pleaded, “Lord! please bring my son back to me, at this very door, on time. Lord if he isn’t here when I return in 30 minutes, I will be so afraid. I won’t know what to do.”
I got my groceries lightening quick, and headed back to that same Mall Door that had engulfed my son. I was on schedule. I should arrive on time….
Meanwhile, Travis had run into the first store, won the heart of the sales clerk, and purchased multiple gifts. His mission was complete and he had time to spare! Joyfully, he decided to go deeper into the mall, down to a really cool Nature and toy store.
He was browsing the tempting treasures on the store shelves and enjoying his freedom. Suddenly, Travis heard me call his name. He looked up, expecting to see me. He looked out of the store into the Christmas crowd in the hall. Through the many strangers in that mall, he spotted the top and back of my hair. He ran after me as fast as he could run, weaving and bobbing through that crowd, trying to catch up with me.
He burst outside, through that Mall Door at the exact same split second my car braked.
“Wow Trav!” I exclaimed. “Your timing was perfect!”
Travis seemed confused. He asked, “How did you get into the car so fast?”
Travis recorded this story of God’s care and provision in his 9 year old journal.