Sunday, 29 August 2021
Title: The God of lost and found
By Dorothy Teoh
Luke 15: 8-10
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(NIV)
Have you ever misplaced an important document or item? Remember your relief and joy when you found it?
Some years ago, when it was time to renew the work permit for the Indonesian helper who took care of my mother, I realised that I had misplaced her passport. It wasn’t lost, exactly. But I had kept it away so well without making a note of where it was that it might as well have been lost!
After a week of looking for it at home and at the office, I was ready to give up. But I decided to give it one last try. In my desperation, I told the Lord: “If it’s anywhere here, please lead me to look for it in the right place, because I have absolutely no idea where it is.”
A search of the two sets of drawers under my office desk yielded nothing. I even pushed the drawers out from under the desk, hoping the passport might have dropped beneath. All I found were some coins, a paper clip and a piece of paper.
I decided to look in the steel filing cabinet again. The previous two searches had been unsuccessful. Ignoring the second drawer which I had gone through with a fine-tooth comb, I opened the top drawer and removed all the files at the front, looking between and through them. Nothing.
With the files at the front removed, the pocket folders at the back spread forward. I looked in the first one and saw two envelopes. Picking up one, my heart skipped a beat when I saw written on the front my helper’s name and the word “passport”.
Imagine my relief and joy when I looked inside and saw the green-coloured passport! Holding the passport in my hand, I went down on my knees to give thanks and to praise God, over and over.
The lost coin in the parable that Jesus told was worth about a day’s wages. Beyond the monetary value, it would have held personal value as part of the woman’s bridal jewelry, the equivalent of a wedding ring in modern times, according to one source. No wonder she rejoiced.
Like her, I could not rejoice alone. God is so good and gracious, I told my sister. The matter had been weighing on me. Aside from the unsettling feeling of having misplaced something important, it was the thought of having to lodge a police report and the large sum I was told I would have to pay to replace it at the Indonesian embassy.
Later, at home, it occurred to me that God is the God of lost and found. “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” How true those words are. I was a sinner, but now I’m saved, because my God found me when I was lost in sin. I was blind then, but now I see – this was also true with regards to the passport. I had looked in that exact same spot twice before and must have seen the envelope but I was not prompted to pick it up and look inside.
I thought to myself, if I experienced so much joy in finding a lost passport, how much more joy I should feel if someone was lost and then found. May the Lord help us to value a life saved more than a document or item found, however important that may be.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you came to seek and save the lost. Thank you for saving us. Bring to mind our family members, relatives, friends and co-workers who are lost. Help us to be salt and light to them, to make use of every opportunity to share the good news, and to be faithful in praying for their salvation, even if progress seems slow. Amen.
星期日 2021 年 8 月 29 日
路加福音 15：8-10 “或是一个妇人有十块钱，若失落一块，岂不点上灯，打扫屋子，细细地找，直到找着吗? 找着了，就请朋友邻舍来，对他们说：‘我失落的那块钱已经找着了，你们和我一同欢喜吧！’ 我告诉你们：一个罪人悔改，在神的使者面前也是这样为他欢喜。”