The God of Lost Things; Luke 15:4-10
In our house, we have a lot of lost things. Lost things require either omniscience or prayer to be found, and sometimes both! To put this story into context, please let me give you a little background.
We are currently a family of 5 crammed into what's usually called a "starter home" built for two. Measuring in at a whopping 1100 square feet, our house just about qualifies for the new eco-trend called "tinyhomes." With just one bathroom, two bedrooms, and an open floor plan downstairs, we are not really too far from "green" camping. Please hear me correctly: I'm not complaining. I HAVE been to Africa, and I am extremely grateful for my little "hut," which many people are not fortunate enough to own. But when you add 5 people and all their related "stuff" to this #tinyhome, things get complicated! Glasses, wallets, and socks often go missing, as do retainers, teddy bears, and mobile phones. But our most-lost items are always the library books.
All five of us are avid readers on a first-name basis with the town librarians. Invariably, the day the books are due is the day we will pray the hardest. It goes something like this: the library sends us anywhere from 2-5 emails stating that our books are now due. Excited to be making yet another trip to their favorite place, (free stuff, right?!), the boys begin collecting books as I check them off the lists. We gather up, for example, all 137 books in the "Captain Underpants" series by epic writer Dav Pilkey. All except for book #5, which in case you have not read it, is called The Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman. This isn't so bad, you say, you can just renew it! We already did. Months ago. And since angry librarians have been known to resemble Wicked Wedgie Women (sorry, Dav), we are pretty terrified that they're going to come find us and make us pay.
Book #5 is later found under a night table, and the amazing thing is that I can't think of a time when God hasn't helped us find things. After looking for hours one morning, we prayed, and within a few minutes my son's book was located, tucked into the DVD collection. (How nice of him to put it away!) With much prayer, I have learned that these same potty-humor books tend to be hidden in the bathroom - for my children's longer sojourns.
The most amazing answer to prayer, however, was for my own lost magazine. I was sure I had returned the latest issue of Writer's Digest to the library. It was beyond overdue and I knew I would have to purchase a replacement if I couldn't find it. My children mockingly berated me, saying things like, "Now you're getting a taste of your own medicine, mom," and "Look who's losing books now! SURE, you returned it! Haha!"
Undaunted, I continued to pray. For weeks. I am a very organized person, so losing a book was extremely uncharacteristic for me.
Finally, D-day arrived and I brought our checkbook to the library to pay the fine. After collecting some books to read, I walked toward the checkout desk. Noticing the magazine rack on the way, i decided to see if anything interested me. I absentmindedly lifted the storage door where back issues were kept, and there it was. The lost issue of Writer's Digest. It was sitting there, in the wrong section, all by itself. I was overjoyed! I proudly brought the magazine to the checkout counter.
"Sorry this is late," I said, with a huge smile on my face.
"No problem, Mrs. Perkins;" said the kind librarian, "I'll just return it for you."
I returned to my #tinyhome full of joy for knowing a God who loves me so much and cares about the #tinythings in my life. I felt like the woman in Luke 15 who rejoiced and wanted to tell all her friends that she had found her lost silver coin.
Our omniscient God is the God not just of lost people, but of lost things. He saved me from the wrath of the wicked wedgie woman. He sees where each lost thing is hidden. Now if I could just find my sunglasses...
c. Deborah Perkins / HisInscriptions.com
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.