Lost and Found

Last week I got myself into a panic!  I own something that is very precious to me, which for a moment, I thought I had lost.  One item is a necklace that two people gave to me a few years ago.  Another item is a bracelet with matching earrings that another two people gave to me.  I have no idea the monetary value of these pieces of jewellery.  The cost is not what makes them precious; but rather, the value is in who gave them to me, and in why they gave them to me: because they love me, too!  The people who presented me with the gifts are treasures of my heart.  I love them dearly.  Hence, when I thought the items to be lost, deep disappointed weighed me down, and panic stirred in my emotions.  To tell the truth, I felt a bit sick!

Suddenly, an idea came to me.  I had been away for the weekend.  Knowing I wear these items every Sunday, I hoped that I had left them behind.  I sent a text to ask.  The minutes that passed seemed ages!  Suddenly a ding of the phone.  Oh, joy!  Ecstasy!  My precious necklace, bracelet and earrings, had been found!  No more words can adequately describe my relief.

I felt my face smiling all day long.  What had been lost was now found.  The joy stayed with me for days.  It was during these days that a thought came to me about how our Heavenly Father must feel when One of His children strays away.  He loves each of His children so very much.  He knows our frailties but loves us unconditionally anyway.  He plans for our future, daily gives us His own strength and peace, and shares in what gives us joy.  Then, sadly, one of His own turns away.  He or she loses sight of our Father’s perfect guidance, deciding instead, that they can make wiser choices.  To all intents and purposes, though still a child (once a child of God, always a child of God) that child is lost to Father’s perfect will for his or her life.

Can you imagine how Father must feel?  The child is so very precious to Him.  Valuable, not because of money, but because of the love-cost given by His own dear Son, Jesus, who died that every child of God could be adopted into His eternal family, with all its rights and privileges, never to be taken away.  We are created in God’s image; therefore, we know He feels sadness because we feel it.  Does He feel the weight of disappointment, like I did over my lost jewellery, when one of His sons or daughters drifts away?  Whatever the emotion of God, we know He speaks often of the love He has for His own.  Read Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

If anyone reading this happens to have drifted away, ask yourself right now, am I happier at this moment without Him, than I ever was with Him? Just go back.  You know He will always forgive.  You know He loves you immeasurably.  Just go back and experience great joy, together again.  

As White As Snow

I kept looking out the window to see if  it was snowing.  Finally, at 10:00pm last night, I looked out and the world was white.  Beautiful!  I took our dog, Jack, outside.  It was like daylight because of the reflection of snow.  Everywhere we looked, it was fresh, undisturbed, falling in gentle flakes.

This morning at first light Jack and I were out again but this time it was a different scene.  Cars had already begun making the snow dirty.  The sidewalks were filled with squashy footprints.  The beauty of the night before was gone.  As we traipsed along in the wet slush the excitement of the fresh snow was gone.

What I was seeing is a picture of what takes place in our spiritual worlds.  When we come to Jesus, asking Him to forgive us and make us new, He does that very thing.  We are told in Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.” (says the Lord)  God’s love and redemption is amazing!  He forgives absolutely and He makes new absolutely.  God never does anything half-way.

Then, the temptations of the world come across all our paths.  Too often we succumb to those things that soil our hearts.  The beauty of our newness in Christ fades like trampled on snow.  Joy diminishes.  Peace crumbles.  The beauty that once was is now soiled.

Great news — we don’t have to remain as snow made dirty by the tracks of this world.  At any time we may call out to the One who loves us unconditionally.  Jesus promises us that every time we come with a sincere heart, He washes away the sin and makes us clean like snow again; just as if we had never sinned at all.  We stand pure in His sight when we are washed in His forgiveness.

Oh, what a loving and holy Father!  Nothing compares to His love and forgiveness.