When Your Tent Goes Missing

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?” Holmes asked.

Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and high above all else. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”

Holmes considered Watson’s response then said, “My dear Watson, don’t you see? Somebody has stolen our tent!”

Sherlock Holmes, of course is the natural hero, but I’m quite partial to Watson’s assessment of the situation. When the tent went missing, he saw the grandeur of the universe, the dawning of a beautiful new day, and a God who was all-powerful and high above all else. I think that is a great deduction for us, too.

What do you see when your tent goes missing—through job loss, parental struggles, serious illness, and other shadowy life situations? Do you see the God of the universe, who is majestic and powerful and able to speak light into our darkness with a single word? Are you reminded, in the beauty of a sunrise, that God can create beauty from the ashes in your life? Do you know that God is all-powerful and high above any difficulty we can experience?

While the joys of life reveal secrets of light, pleasure, and happiness, the secrets revealed in the shadows of life are deep truths and insightful treasures. Those who walk hand-in-unseen-hand with God and faithfully persevere through hard times discover the fellowship of Christ and find Him to be the greatest secret of all.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me…
to provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:1a, 3a NIV