I lose something about everyday. Usually keys. Today however, it was my planner (the one that might as well be my brain). Basically, it usually goes down with me ready to walk out the door and realizing I have no idea where something (of vital importance) is- at first it’s a calm glance around the room. Which then turns into moving and rearranging. When that does not work, I turn to full out start spring cleaning. Worst cast scenario a few tears are shed. Self-loathing mutterings can be heard. Prayers that resemble a whining begging child are screamed.
Then in a glorious moment, I find my lost item. Sigh, a prayer of relief and thanks and I am gone. Off to conquer the world- or whatever is on my list of errands for the day.
Losing something has always been a panic-y come to Jesus moment, not because He answered my cries, but because of the epic failure of my own at keeping myself calm, cool, and collected. I did not rejoice in equal portion to my panic. I mean, it was just keys after all, and well with as often as I lose things, it does get a little embarrassing.
And then, it happened. The day I knew would, but hoped I could avoid. I lost my engagement ring. Because I do not live in self-denial and know that I have a tendency to lose anything and everything I touch, I had tried really hard to just never take it off. That proved impossible. And it was definitely good and lost.
I did the calm glance around.
The under the bed.
The everything I could think of- starting cleaning like a mad woman- panic began to set in- begging, pleading, and how was I going to explain this to the boy whose-face-I-am-going-to-see-every-morning?
And then in, a glorious moment, (hours upon hours after the losing I might add) the kind of moment only God gives -I found it! And you know what I did? I did a happy dance. And I rejoiced. And even now when I look down and see it, I am still rejoicing.
And just then God reminded me of another woman.
[I would like to take a minute, and thank my parents. It is because of them, that I know the Bible. Sure, seminary helped, but I never would have gone if my parents had not taught me the importance of knowing and obeying God’s Word. And it is because of the knowledge I have from childhood that in recent years the Bible has become alive to me. It is my friend, and it is with me in times of trouble- and even in those spectacular moments of glory. It speaks not just through words on a page, but from memory- through the guiding of the Holy Spirit.]
Back to God’s prodding- I am not the only woman, who has lost something important. The story kept coming back to me- so I got my Bible out and started digging.
In Luke, there is a story about a woman who lost a coin. An important coin. She lights a lamp. She sweeps the floor. She searches for it diligently.
(From now on, I am going to just start describing my panic attacks as “searching diligently.”) And she gets so excited when she finds her lost coin that she has a party and invites people to rejoice with her.
Ouch. She shared her rejoicing. I kept it to myself.
I read on,
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels
of God over one sinner who repents.
Which in case you are wondering is a lot like another passage just a few verses before where I started reading. (Did you click on Luke and read it too? Do it now!)
Just so, I tell you there will be more joy in heaven
over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons that need no repentance.
I am surprised by this lesson. I thought I was learning to rejoice and instead I realized this: In my attempt to please God, I often focus on me.
I tell myself, Be better. Be more holy. Be nicer. Be this. And be that. And don’t forget to be- go ahead, fill in the blank with whatever you are trying to be right now.
Right in his Word, God tells us how to please Him. In fact, he tells how we can be part of the party going in heaven, while still earth.
Seek out the lost coin. Search out that wayward sheep.
Share His love. Share His truth. Share the salvation He offers…
because repentance brings a life of rejoicing!