Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 8, 2014

Lost but very valuable

Ann Nunnally

— I hate losing something I really like and not being able to find it! You know what I’m talking about — something that is not necessarily of great value to others but is special to you.  When I say to my husband, “I’ve lost my favorite pen,” he says, “I have one you can borrow.” While I appreciate the offer, the truth is I want my pen, not a borrowed one! My pen fits my hand, writes smoothly and has the perfect color ink.  It’s the pen with memories attached to it. It’s the pen I personally bought because I like its quality. It was not a free sample or an advertisement pen for some business. There are dozens of those pens lying around the house. My missing pen is an expression of me, my choices, my life, my future.  I want to cry out. “Please help me find my pen!”

You may be thinking “Wow, that’s pretty obsessive.” If you think about it, there are personal items that you have that make you crazy when they are misplaced. Items that you search for again and again until you find them. Our quest for the lost is something akin to the heart of God, not an obsessive disorder. Please consider the following parable from Luke 15: 8-10. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

About one-third of Jesus’ teaching was by parables. A parable, by definition, is a brief story told by way of analogy to illustrate spiritual truth. The purpose of parables, according to the footnotes in the Spirit-filled Life Bible, was “to make spiritual truths clearer to hearers, to put truth in a form easily remembered, to avoid offense with hostile people who would not hear the truth and to declare judgment upon those who were willfully blind.” Parables are found throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

In the parable in Luke 15, the story is about a woman who has a necklace with ten coins on it. Each coin is worth about a day’s wages. The coins are silver drachmas, the Roman coin of Jesus’s time, and this type necklace was worn by married women as a status symbol. It was precious to her because of monetary and sentimental reasons.  It was tied to her identity, her hope and her future.  To lose one coin meant her necklace was incomplete.  The parable says that she lights a lamp and cleans the entire house until she finds it.  =Then she calls all her friends and neighbors to announce, “I found it!”

This is a brief story about the spiritual truth of God’s love and His desire to find and restore every sinner who has lost his way. It’s a beautiful picture of our individual importance to God. Having nine coins is not enough for God. He wants you and me, the tenth missing coin, or His hope, future and identity as the Savior of mankind is incomplete.  The scriptures in Luke 19:10 declare, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” It’s Jesus’ mission to seek the lost, find and restore.

He’s looking for you today because He loves you and desires for you to be part of His kingdom.  Don’t play a game of hide and seek with your Savior.  Jump out from your hiding place and declare, “Here I am. Take me!” All the angels in heaven will rejoice.