After singing the second verse, my friend suggested we go to a different locale. So, with his wife in the car, off we went. We reached the place where I had been earlier, and there they were. My friend found the gloves in the very place where we had deduced I must have left them.
So what are some lessons?
You will remember the parable of the lost coin that was found by the married woman. It was the equivalent of a gem in a wedding ring. Here is the passage from Luke 15:8-10, “What woman who has 10 silver coins, if she loses one, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’ I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” (HCSB)
A. Finding requires a thorough search, so don’t give up when you don’t find the lost on the first try.
B. Cleaning house and sorting through what you have can often reveal the lost. We had to sort through the car and retrace our path, so too, you may have to clean house spiritually to find the lost.
C. It probably required consultation with neighbors to find that coin just as more than one person worked to find those gloves. While God is the Ultimate Finder, when we are looking as the church for the lost, it often requires a host of neighbors to find what we are looking for.
D. Rarely do you find lost things in the first place you look. Don’t get stuck in a rut: be creative, try looking in new places and with new graces. Usually we get so used to routines that we lose our way in the mundane. God reveals the lost when we step out of the routine and look intensely & deeply.
E. The search is worth it. My friend and his wife at one time suggested we just buy new gloves, but then they offered to take me to get the gloves in the last possible place. It was worth it. Less overall cost. It costs less to find the lost than to start all over again. Take the time to look. Looking for the lost is worth it. Finding the lost saves more than what was lost, it saves precious resources and brings peace.
F. When you find, celebrate as a group! They don’t call them search parties for nothing. It should be fun to find! Discovering the resources of giftedness and godliness yet to be revealed to and in the lost is worth going to tell them and telling them again until they come to their senses.
Incidentally, the place where we had the most fun sharing about Jesus was a clothing store. We were able to share about the Lost Son and how he risked everything to be restored. My friend rehearsed the story of redemption with passion. It engaged all of us to engage all of them in a search for the truth. They even received an Arabic-English Bible. God was at work.
Ultimately, we must remember and honor the Lord who reveals the lost and reveals Himself to the lost. He searches them out. He searches their hearts. He finds the treasure planted in the world. He gathers in every grain for His barns.
The Lord Jesus spares no expense to find the lost.
Can we do any less?