One of the things I find most frustrating is when I misplace or lose something. Oddly enough it isn’t always something that others would consider important and yet, I cannot seem to rest until I locate it. I retrace steps and look in all the usual and not so usual places.
Sometimes I can find it without a major delay, but other times it can be a long time of searching and wondering. There are also times when I never find it, but even then I pause from time to time and go back and check a place or two.
Two years ago we purchased some lovely votive candles in pretty little holders to put on our deck for the summer. (My husband would tell you I love little lights twinkling no matter what time of the year it may be.) At the end of that summer we boxed them up and stored them for last summer. Could we find them? NO! We searched in every conceivable place to no avail and I was more than a little frustrated and we spent the whole summer without them.
Then early this summer as I was looking under our basement steps for something I saw a box. I wasn’t sure what was in it and decided to open it to see. There were the long lost votive candles in their sweet little holders. I am sure we looked in this area last summer, but this box eluded us.
In the fall of 2016, we were traveling to Vermont on vacation. I was wearing one of those pairs of earrings purchased in a jewelry store versus the local mall kiosk. At some point as we were driving I touched my ear and realized it was gone. We stopped the car and searched everywhere in the car and all the things in the area where I was sitting. Sadly we never found it. The earrings matched a necklace our daughter had given me and I was upset not to have the matching earrings I had purchased.
When we arrived home I searched the online store of the jewelry store where I had purchased them and discovered they still carried the exact same earrings. I couldn’t rest without buying them. Now I have 3 of those earrings and even though it is almost 2 years since the one was lost, I still keep thinking it is tucked into a crevice somewhere and we’ll find it.
Think how much time I spent looking for these things! But sometimes we lose someone, not something.
Once when our daughter was little, we were shopping in a large department store with lots of racks and rounders with clothes hanging down. Our daughter had been beside me while I browsed, but then I noticed she was missing. I was frantic and started calling her name and searching everywhere. I finally discovered her in the midst of clothes on one of the rounders as she had decided to do some exploring of her own.
There was also one beautiful fall day when we were visiting our son and his family in Franklin, TN, for their annual downtown fall festival. It’s always a lot of fun in this lovely town with unique shops and items to discover. For the festival streets are blocked off and various booths of all sorts of foods and items fill the streets. There are also music venues to enjoy…after all it’s right next door to Nashville.
Our grandson was probably only about 4 years old and had been enjoying the time with our son, his wife, and his older sister who was about 8, and my husband and I. The streets and sidewalks were crammed with people as we slowly made our way among them, stopping to look or sample one thing or another. Suddenly we discovered this grandson was not with us. We were frantic! It wasn’t just that he was lost, but we didn’t know if all these people would pose a risk we didn’t even want to imagine.
We split up and started searching and finally discovered him sitting on the top row of chairs of risers set up for a concert that was to begin. He must have been waiting there for the musicians. We might not ever know. It was a terrifying time for us to consider what might happen to him and it took far too long for us to find him.
Something or someone can only be lost if they belong to us.
And when we discover the loss, we go searching.
Consider the parable of the lost lamb in Matthew 18:11-14 (TPT):
“The Son of Man has come to give life to anyone who is lost. 12 Think of it this way: If a man owns a hundred sheep and one lamb wanders away and is lost, won’t he leave the ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go out and thoroughly search for the one lost lamb? 13 And if he finds his lost lamb, he rejoices over it, more than over the ninety-nine who are safe. 14 Now you should understand that it is never the desire of your heavenly Father that a single one of these humble believers should be lost.”
How much the Father loves us when we wander away, go off exploring, become seduced to follow someone else, or get tempted to try life on our own!
Many of us have done just that at some point in our lives, even after we knew Him. Some of you have someone you love that is in the midst of that season now.
Consider how much time you take to search for something or someone that is lost and the ache it causes you to never give up until you have located that something or someone.
Now…multiply that to infinity and remember the Father’s heart does not rest until one who is His is found again.