This morning started with some sorrow. We were just getting breakfast on the table when Evie came running into the house. “I can’t find Zeus! His cage is empty.”
Sure enough he was missing. We had recently put his cage outside and I guess it wasn’t on level ground. There was one little space he must have wriggled through.
The eggs were left on table. The coffee was half drunk. The search began.
I had to stay in the house and nurse the baby, and as I did, I prayed. I know it’s just a rabbit. In the grand scheme of life is not that huge of a deal. But in one 12 year old’s life, it was a very big deal. I prayed, “God, would you help us find Zeus? Would you show Evie your faithfulness and greatness? Show her you hear her and answer her prayers.
Evie loves this bunny. She’s had him since he was just the tiny runt of a litter. She holds him every day, plays with him, talks to him. All the kids love him, really. I watched her dejectedly walk the yard, tears continually streaming down her face. And my heart hurt for her.
Evie crawled under the porch, scratching her knees, but faithfully checking every crevice. As she was under the porch I asked if she’d eaten breakfast.
“No, I don’t feel very hungry anymore,” she sadly replied. I know, honey, I know.
We dug in the log pile, restacking piles of logs, peering in every nook and cranny with a flashlight.
We tromped through waist high weeds, walking a couple steps then stopping to listen. Wondering if our crackling steps were scaring him further away or helping us find him.
We even set out plates of treats at the edges of the weeds and logs, thinking he might smell them and venture out. Finally after an hour and a half, we decided to let it be and keep checking the plates to watch for nibbles.
We had lunch and worked on the garden, all the while praying. I had the sense from the Holy Spirit that it was going to be okay. I told the kids, I think he’s alive and okay. I think we’ll find him.
Three of the kids had a band BBQ to attend and Evie didn’t really want to go. I totally understand that feeling. Her heart just wasn’t in anything. She was sad and worried. But we encouraged her to go and try to enjoy herself. It was, after all, her very last day of band for the summer. So down the driveway we headed in good old Bertha.
As we started out I glanced to the left, into the old shed.
I saw movement as something black and white hopped out from under some boards! It was one of those moments where your brain doesn’t register what you’re seeing right away. I looked back forward to continue driving, then suddenly, it hit me!
I slammed on the brakes, threw the van into park, and yelled, “ZEUS!”
As I jumped out of the vehicle I yelled to the kids, “Get Out! Get out! Get out!” My heart was racing and my mind couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. There, in front of us, was Zeus! Just sitting there looking at us!
Evie slowly went into the shed as Elliot ran for one of the plates of goodies. Maddie and I went around the back of the shed to crawl through an old hole. Zeus was a little nervous and started to hop away from Evie, but she quietly knelt down and put her hand out. She spoke so gently and calmly, though I’m sure her heart was racing.
He hopped right to her, and as she scooped him up and hugged him, I couldn’t help but cry. The pure joy in her face was priceless! And we couldn’t help but celebrate with her.
On the way to band, Evie looked at me and said with a smile, “I think God had Zeus get out.”
“Oh yeah,why?” I asked.
“Because then I would trust Him more.”
I can’t think of a better way to end an adventure, than to learn more about who God is and His faithfulness to us.