Lost --- And Found!
It was the second time he'd lost his wallet in the past couple of months. It didn't have much in it but a bit of cash and his driver's license, but no problem -- most likely he'd left it at a friend's house. Except that it wasn't there. So that night during devotions we prayed he would find it. I have to admit, as I did, I wondered if it was wrong to pray about something so mundane. Does God really care about such simple things as us finding a lost wallet? But more than that, especially as I prayed aloud again the next morning at breakfast, I felt like I was stepping out on a limb. What if God choose not to answer our prayers? Would that somehow diminish my two teen sons' trust in God?
|Wallet made from a scrap of leather using this free pattern|
That's not what happened. Because as this son thought about his steps, he remembered somewhere else he could possibly have lost it. It was a public place – a high school gym. So Tim traveled to the school, climbed the bleachers, and there it was! We all rejoiced in God's kindness and thanked Him for this answer to prayer.
It seems we've been looking for lost items a good bit around here. Not too long ago our oldest son and daughter-in-law came for the weekend. At church on Sunday morning someone asked her why she wasn't wearing her wedding and engagement rings. Now Esther's rings are not ordinary. No, hers were designed and hand-made by her groom, Andrew. So not only are they lovely, they are completely one-of-a-kind. The engagement ring rests snuggled between two thinner wedding bands, making a triad. She looked in shock at her bare fingers but figured she had simply taken them off at our house. Later, at home, we all looked, but no rings were found. That's alright, we all figured. Almost certainly Esther had left them at her home, probably taking them off not long before they made the trip to Indiana.
That night we waited to hear the good news that the rings were found in Ohio. Instead, we learned that the rings were still nowhere to be found. So we redoubled our search efforts here, with the same empty results. Just as we were heading to bed, Andrew called with a new idea. Esther remembered she might have taken off her rings on the way to church as she was putting on makeup. If they had been on her lap, they could have fallen into the parking lot as she got out of the car.
OK. So, grabbing some powerful flashlights, Tim, Paul, and I headed back to church. I don't know what they were thinking, but I felt it was a pretty futile exercise. Even if they were there, how would we find tiny rings in a large parking lot in the pitch dark?
We did, however, have a pretty good idea where Andrew and Esther had parked. So as we pulled near the area, Tim shone our car headlights that direction. Immediately – SPARKLE! SPARKLE! SPARKLE! Could it really be that simple or was it just something else fooling us?
Paul hopped out, walked over to the sparkling area, and picked up three rings. Perfectly intact.
As I've been thinking about the lost (and found!) wallet and rings, I can't stop pondering how it is that God loves finding lost objects. One of my very favorite chapters of scripture is Luke 15 which tells the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son.
I really don't think God minds when we pray our simple, needy prayers asking for His helping in finding lost items. Far too many times have I seen Him answer just such prayers. Sometimes soon after praying, a new thought of somewhere to look pops into my mind. Other times, I just “happen” to look somewhere I might already have looked, but there it is. No, He's not some cosmic genie whom we can turn to for divination about missing items. And no, He doesn't always answer such pleas for help finding things with instant success.
Nonetheless, I think the Lord Above must take some delight in helping His children find lost articles, as insignificant as these things are in the larger scheme. Because He is in the business of finding lost people. And when He guides us to find our little lost goods, valuable to us as a sheep to a shepherd or a coin to a poor woman, they remind us of His seeking out and finding lost sons. Praise God that He loved us while we were still sinners, and He came to seek and save those who are His own!
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)