8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
I experienced a little bit of losing and searching recently.
A few weeks ago a friend gave my family an incredibly kind and generous gift card to a restaurant. It was a restaurant to which we had never been and we were excited to get to try it out. Since the gift card amount was pretty large we decided to invite some friends to go with us so we could share the blessing with someone else.
A few days ago I went to my desk drawer where I have been keeping the gift card. Much to my dismay, it was missing. After thoroughly interviewing all in my family it was determined that no one had any idea as to its location. I was feeling rather frantic.
I looked all over my home office. I retraced my steps over and over again. I searched every inch of my bedroom. I went through our cars to see if there was any chance it could be there. I even looked in every pair of slacks, jeans, suit pants, suit jackets, and coats I own. The gift card was nowhere to be found.
I began to think about my options with respect to the friends we had invited to join us for dinner. I could 1) admit that I lost the gift card and cancel the night out; 2) I could admit I lost the gift card and suggest we still go out to eat but go somewhere a bit less expensive, or; 3) I could say nothing about it and just pay for the four of us to go eat at the nice restaurant. I was not crazy about any of the options.
My wife then suggested perhaps I had taken the gift card to my church office. So, I went to my office at work and began to search through every single drawer, each cabinet, and even looked in places I knew it simply could not be. I was desperate to find this thing. My searching yielded nothing...well, nothing except frustration.
Upon returning home, I told my wife that the whole thing just made no sense. I told her I was going to keep looking. I was determined to find this runaway gift certificate.
I went back to my office in my home and began to disassemble the desk. We had already done this earlier in the day, but I had to find it. I did not know what else to do but just start over again. After removing the large center drawer I began shining a flashlight to see into every small nook and cranny up into the wooden desk.
I FOUND IT! It was pushed back against a little corner, under the top of the desk, essentially in a little spot that there was no way it should have been able to have fallen and hidden there. Yet, there it was. I yelled and screamed and clutched that little card. By this point, it was less about the money and embarrassment of losing it. It was now more about the quest to simply find that which was lost and not give in. I knew it was somewhere in the house, I knew it was mine, and I was bound and determined to find it.
My mind immediately went to Luke 15. The lady in the parable had lost a coin and she searched frantically for it. She lit her lamp, swept through the house, and would not stop until she had found it. Upon locating the lost coin, she spread the good news to her friends and had a celebration. This parable of celebration is told as a picture of the celebration in heaven when a sinner repents and is converted.
So, what did this little episode reveal to me? I have to ask myself if I am as diligent in seeking out lost people to help them find Christ as I was the gift certificate. I have to check my heart and see if I rejoice as heartily when someone becomes a Christian as was when I found that little gift card. I have to ask myself when the last time was I celebrated over a conversion the way I did the reunion I had with my gift certificate. Then, I had to pray.
Help me to be willing to go to great lengths to share the gospel and see people come to faith in Christ. Help me to be more consumed with spiritual things than material items. Lord, give me a greater passion to see people come to know your Son as their personal Savior. May my heart become as consumed with evangelism and singular in focus as I was when I knew I had something that was missing. And may I rejoice over the things that you do. May my heart be moved in worshipful celebration when a lost soul comes home to their salvation.
In Jesus Name,
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