There are things you lose but you don’t feel the pain of losing it. Pennies and paperclips go here.
There are things you lose and you feel the pain of losing it, but after searching and not finding, you give up the search because the effort of searching is greater than the pain of losing. My car keys and favorite baseball cap go here.
But then there are things you lose and you feel the pain of losing it, and after searching and not finding it, you keep up the search because the pain of losing it is greater than the effort of searching. It hurts too much to count that thing as lost forever, and you know it’s within your power to find it if you just keep looking, so you keep up the search as long as humanly possible. It’s not an obsession but a physical need like breathing or food. The searching hurts, it will cost you, but it’s nothing compared to the pain of knowing that what you lost is lost for good. My child and my wife, at least on this side of heaven, go here.
A woman loses a silver coin. She has nine others just like it, but for some reason, to lose that one, that one particular coin, is too much to bear. Maybe it’s the only inheritance her mother could afford to give her. Maybe it’s the last wages her son sent home after he died in battle. Maybe her husband had placed it in the palm of her hand before he traveled north looking for work, never to be heard from again. Whatever the reason, the pain of searching for this coin, this one coin, is nothing compared to the pain of losing it. It must be found.
To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God? It is like you or me losing something too precious for us not to surrender our lives in the search for it. Now imagine we are the thing that goes lost, and God is the one who bears the pain of the losing and the searching. We belong to the third category of lost things that are too precious to lose. God is searching, and God will not be stopped.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Kingdom of God is like God finally finding the very thing that has gone lost—you, me, all of us. And until the day comes when there are no more lost and found people, only found people, God is searching for us. It’s a physical need for God. It’s worth dying for.
Loving God, we hope for the day when there are no lost and found people, only found people. May we receive the gift of our own foundness, feel the weight of our worth to you, and be filled with such gratitude that we join your search team and help you find the lost. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.