Thursday, July 22, 2010

Heaven's lost and found

I remember discovering my wallet was missing one day at work years ago when I worked at a shipyard.  I knew that I'd had it during lunch and now, in the afternoon, it was gone.  I thought about where I had been over lunch hour and remembered stopping in at a convenience store to buy something to eat.  I looked up the number of the store and called.  They told me that they didn't have my wallet and I started to panic, trying to remember where else it could have been left.  I don't think I got much work done the rest of that day as I kept turning this over in my mind.  My wallet is like my portable bank, filing system, identification and driving control center and if it is missing it is as if I have lost control of my life.  I couldn't think of anywhere else to check so I walked back to the store and spoke to a lady behind the counter.  I explained about the wallet and my earlier call and she said that she had found a wallet and locked it up.  The other person who had taken my call didn't know about this.  Sure enough, the wallet in the safe was mine.  I was restored, reconnected and at peace once again.  I think the great theme of the Bible might be called: "Heaven's lost and found".  Luke 15 has three parables of Jesus that address this: "The Lost Sheep", "The Lost Coin", and "The Prodigal Son".  Each lost item was very precious.  The sheep was one of a hundred sheep, the coin was one of 10 silver coins, and the Prodigal son was one of two sons.  When each was found there was a celebration held.  In the case of the sheep and the coin the celebration was because something had been missing and now was relocated.  But in the case of the wayward son, the boy was not just relocated...he was changed.  He was not physically lost because he knew how to find his way home.  He had been lost in life because he didn't appreciate his father as the source of all he had.  It seems that he had to lose all he had to appreciate what he had been given.  The Bible says that he actually found himself...that "he came to his senses" and when he returned home, he was humbled and repentant and grateful.  His father was especially glad because he knew that the old son had died and a new son was now living.
There is rejoicing in our hearts when something is lost and then found.  Each of us starts lost in this world...lost from Heaven that is.  We need the kind of epiphany that the prodigal son had to realize that we don't need to remain lost.  We, too, can have a change of mind and heart and go to our Heavenly Father with hearts of gratitude and brokenness and He will rejoice that we are not just found...we are changed...and we are His.
Luke15:24 "for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found".  And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:7 "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
Rob Smith

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