No doubt, you can think of a time when you lost something of value and searched all over for it. A number of summers ago, I was out working in the yard. The sweat kept falling on my glasses, making it hard to see, so I put them in my pocket. Not realizing they had fallen out, I left home to drive to Des Moines. It was only when I went to read something that I realized they were gone. I called my wife to search the back yard. It’s about 1 1/2 acres and the grass was due for mowing. She looked and looked but couldn’t find the glasses. Then she asked God to help her. Looking up, she saw something reflecting in the sun…my glasses – once lost, now found.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories about something valuable that was lost and then found: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. In each case, the manager, owner, and father looked diligently for that which was lost. So valuable was the sheep that the shepherd left 99 others just to find the one that was lost. The woman had ten coins but searched diligently until she found the one lost one. Both the shepherd and the woman called their neighbors and friends to tell them the good news of finding their valuable treasure. The father had two sons, one who squandered his inheritance and one who stayed at home to work the farm. But he waited, eyes on the road, for his lost son to return, and threw a great party when he did,
I wonder what treasures we lose in our lives that stay missing for years without our searching to recover them? Maybe it’s a relationship that ended in disappointment and rather than pursue it, it was let go to be lost; a love shared no more. Maybe it’s the honor of a good name, the integrity of character that became lost in the pursuit of lesser treasures. Such is the exchange of uplifting language for foul and harsh words, of encouragement for cynicism and sarcasm, of a cheerful spirit for a complaining one, and the exchange of truth for a lie.
Too often we hear of the great love that begins a marriage and is too soon lost to the routine pursuit of individual paths, in neglect of the nurturing of “us.” The experience of “coming to Jesus” is sometimes like that. The elation, gratitude, wonder and awe that characterized the beginning of the relationship is lost to a “business as usual” lifestyle that hides the flame under a basket. Sadly, the flame of passion is not missed and therefore not earnestly pursued.
As you reflect on what’s lost in your life, is there anything you’ve let go that you’d like to regain? Maybe it’s a relationship waiting to be restored. Or a passion for living with great purpose. Have you lost hope, or faith, or the joy of living well regardless of your circumstances? Maybe you’ve wandered farther away from God than you want to admit. If your love for God has grown weary or the joy of life has been robbed from you, it’s not forever gone. Ask. Seek. Knock. Pursue the treasure of your life that has been lost. Don’t let the desire for lesser treasures impede your search. And when you find your prized treasure, celebrate the good news with those around you!