Many schools, businesses and churches have a “lost and found” department. When something is there, it is sad.
Sad because something valuable or meaningful is missing from someone’s life. Sad because articles of value lay unused on a shelf. Sad because perhaps someone does not even realize they have lost something.
One possession I lost years ago still makes my heart ache. Driving to work one day I stopped at a grocery store to pick up something for my lunch. When I arrived at work, I realized my wristwatch was not on my arm. After searching my car, I retraced my steps back to the store and searched the area where I had parked. The store reported no one had turned in a wristwatch, but took my name and number in case someone turned it in.
After a few days passed, I realized the wristwatch was lost. It was heartbreaking for me because it had been a Christmas present from my husband on our first Christmas together. It was beautiful and I received many compliments when I wore it. The sentimental value to me was priceless. Also, my husband had spent more than he should have for the watch, and I knew on our budget, we could never justify replacing it with one of similar value.
There have been other things I have lost and did not realize it until weeks, months, even years later something reminded me of an item and only then did I realize it had been lost for a long time. Lost, but not missed.
This week in my devotions I read Luke 15. That chapter speaks of losing things. There is the shepherd who loses one of his sheep, a woman who loses a valuable coin and a father whose son has left the home and is lost to his family.
The parables Jesus told in this chapter illustrate the love of God for us. Although we may drift away from God, He is not unaware that we are lost. He is not a forgetful owner who is too busy or too uncaring to seek for us.
Like the woman who diligently searched through her house for the lost coin, the shepherd who went out in the wilderness to find the sheep who had wandered off the path, or the father who watched longingly for his son to return, Jesus draws us back to Him.
What stands out to me on the story of the prodigal son is when the father saw his son “a great way off,” he did not stand and wait for his return but ran to meet him. He embraced him and gave him a kiss.
How thankful I am that I know I (and you) are important to God.
“See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children—think of it—and we really are!” 1 John 3:1
An old hymn from my childhood tells us so much of the love of God and how He longs for us to return to Him and stay close to him.