In early 1986 I lost something very precious to me. It was a pocket knife that my wife had given me for Christmas, and I used it every day on the farm. One day I reached into my pocket to use it, and it was gone. I was so upset because this gift meant so much to me, and it was so valuable in my work. I frantically searched all over the farm, but nothing turned up. For an entire week I was consumed with trying to find it. After retracing my steps, I finally found it in an obscure place among the farm equipment where I had been working. Needless to say, I was overjoyed!
A few weeks ago, something similar happened when I lost my black jacket. Again, it was a gift from my wife, but I had been using it for nearly 12 years. After all those years, it had become part of me and it had served me so well. I retraced my steps as with the knife, but I just could not locate it. I was so consumed with finding it, asking everyone that had seen me that week if they saw any trace of it. It drove my wife crazy, as every few hours I’d be bringing up the topic again! I didn’t want to give up the search, even though I had run out of options as to its whereabouts.
God used this experience to remind me to hold lightly to the things of this world. Completely baffled, I gave it into His hands. It was beyond by ability to find it, and sadly, I had to let go.
I believe God wanted me to search and wrestle with this situation to teach me a very valuable lesson about His nature: that He is consumed with lostness every day as He longs for people to be reconciled to Him. Every person has great value to Him, and His heart aches for a world full of people drifting far from Him.
The bottom line is that if I want to me like Jesus, then I, too, must be consumed with lostness and committed to the task of bringing people back to Him.
By the way, I found that jacket. I was sitting at Heathrow airport writing my journal, waiting for my outbound flight. It was then that I recalled one place that I had visited—our off-site storage locker. Judy went the next day and found it there, tucked away safely. My joy in finding it reminded me of the utter delight that God takes in finding even one lost person. Another lesson! So let us be consumed with lostness, and rejoice with Him when the lost becomes the found.