Have you ever lost something? I have. All the time. I lose my phone multiple times a day. I lose my “wallet” (I put wallet in quotes, because my wallet is really just my cards and cash with a rubber band around it) several times a week. Before I got an iPhone I had an iPod Nano that was my source of listening enjoyment in the car. One day I couldn’t find it. I had borrowed a friend’s truck for something and was convinced it was in there. He was adamant that it wasn’t, but I doubted him. I kept asking him to check and to check and to check some more, and I finally gave up when I thought that I might just lose this friendship if I ask him again. But I was certain it was in there. I think it was perhaps as much as a year or two that went by and I still couldn’t find it. I had grieved it. I was convinced that it was in my friend’s truck, but I had to let it go.
Then came moving day. We picked up the box spring of our bed and there it was under the bed. I had no need for it anymore because I had moved on to the iPhone. It was utterly useless to me, but I remember screaming, “my iPod!” I picked it up and almost hugged it (as much as one can hug an iPod Nano). I was thrilled (but also a little terrified at having to confess to my friend that it had been under my bed all that time). But mostly I was thrilled. There was great rejoicing.
This is (obviously) just my own person parable of the lost coin or lost sheep. It’s interesting how exciting it is to find something that’s been lost, even when it no longer has any value. There is just something deeply satisfying about finding lost things. It’s like some sort of balance comes back into the world. If I’m that excited about finding what was to me an obsolete iPod, think of how God is about us. We matter deeply to God. We are in no way obsolete to God. Not ever. We are precious to God, and God will sweep the house and head into the wilderness to find us. Like a sheep we all stray away from time to time. God will not give up on us when we do. And like a coin, through no fault of our own, people find themselves lost, and God is like that woman who will tear apart her house to find us.
We need to let that in. We need to let in the fact that God does not give up on us. No matter where you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what’s been done to you, no matter how distant you may feel, God is looking for you because, quite simply, you matter.