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Lost and Found

There I was, frantically searching, determined not to give up. My mind told me to “Just let it go,” but there was something in me that just wouldn’t let me give up that easily.  I’m sure if anyone had seen me that day, they would have wondered why in the world is this woman walking and looking around as if she’s lost it. The truth is, I had lost it, and I was determined with everything in me to get it back.

Just minutes before, I pulled up to the ATM with ten crispy one-hundred-dollar bills in my hand. The lines were long, so I decided to use the ATM to deposit my cash instead of using the teller windows. I carefully slid the bills into the machine one by one. Yes, one by one. These were brand new bills, and I wanted to make sure they didn’t stick together.  Just as I got ready to slide that tenth bill in, out of nowhere came a gush of wind. On any other day, I would have welcomed a nice cool breeze, but not that day. That last one-hundred-dollar bill flew right out of my hand. Shocked and panicked, I quickly finished that transaction of only nine hundred dollars, grabbed my receipt, and jumped out of my car to search for that last bill. 

Many thoughts ran through my head in one moment: “I’ll never find that bill, it’s long gone!”; “I cannot believe this is happening!”; “Oh my goodness, I’m holding up the line!” (Thankfully there were no cars behind me).  “People are going to think I’m crazy!”; “It’s just one hundred dollars; you still have nine hundred left, just call it a loss and go!”  I was leaning towards calling it a loss. I didn’t see that money anywhere. I immediately imagined someone else walking, looking on the ground, finding and enjoying MY hundred-dollar bill. I couldn’t give up! That money belonged to me, and I was not about to give up that easily. 

I called out to God, and I said, “Lord, I know it’s just a hundred dollars, and I know I still have nine hundred left, but I worked hard for this, and I need to find it. Please show me where it went.”   I looked as far as I could to see if I could see anything laying in the grass or flying through the air…nothing. 

I finally got back in my car and proceeded to drive off very slowly, carefully looking around to make sure I hadn’t overlooked it. Then, as I drove up a little further, something in the rearview mirror caught my eye. I jumped out of the car, ran back up to the ATM, and there it was!

It had been under my car the entire time, held in place by some car fluid on the ground.  I proudly picked up my hundred-dollar bill and thanked my God. That crispy bill didn’t look brand new anymore, but that sure didn’t change its value, and neither did it change my praise.

You may have a loved one that’s lost in a world of sin. You may have had thoughts in your mind: “They’ll never come back to God; they’re too far gone!”; “I cannot believe this is the child I raised, or the spouse I married, or the friend I went to Sunday school with!”, “Oh my goodness, I’m holding up the prayer line with the same request over and over; people are going to think I’m crazy!”, “It’s no use, just call it a loss and move on.” But don’t you give up on them! Just because they’re lost, they haven’t lost their value.

In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus talks about the parable of the lost coin.

8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one piece, doth not light a

candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she finds it?

9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together,

saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one

sinner that repenteth.

And in Luke 15:3-7, Jesus talks about the parable of the lost sheep.

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave

the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying

unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,

more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

And we certainly can’t forget about the parable of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32).

Don’t you see the trend here? It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been gone. It doesn’t matter how many times you have to go to that altar on their behalf. It doesn’t matter how far they’ve gone into sin. It doesn’t matter how hopeless it looks. Don’t you give up! Keep praying, keep believing!

One day, you’re going to look up, and something will catch your eye, and it’ll be your loved one coming back to God. They may look tarnished and beat up by the world, but their value is still the same. In the same way that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents, you’ll find yourself rejoicing with Heaven when they return.

Dear God,

I’ve prayed long and hard for my loved ones to be saved. Some days it seems hopeless, and I feel like giving up, but something in me just won’t let me give up. Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and His death will not be in vain. The enemy cannot have what rightfully belongs to You. I ask that you send Your Holy Spirit to go to them right now and begin to draw them back to You. Take the taste and desire for sin away from them and give them a mind to run back to You with arms stretched out, asking, “What must I do to be saved?” Lord, I’m rejoicing with the angels in advance for the deliverance that will take place in the lives of my loved ones. In Jesus’ mighty and matchless name, Amen.