So I was heading home after a great day at work yesterday and I decided to stop off at our local convenience store to pick up some Halls. As I went up to the cashier to pay for the item, I reached into my pocket and discovered – to my horror – that my wallet wasn’t in there! Fortunately I had enough change to pay for the Halls, so that wasn’t a problem, but the bigger issue was – where was my wallet?
I bolted out to the van, hoping it had fallen out under my seat, but no such luck. So, I darted back to the church, (whether I made an unnecessary illegal u-turn to get back quicker, I cannot say), with the thought that it may have fallen out of my pocket as I was getting into the van, and (hopefully!) it was still lying on the street in front of the church. I wondered to myself if someone found the wallet if they would be the kind of person to return it, or keep the cash that was in it and run.
I pulled up to the church and scanned the street – no wallet. Perhaps I had taken it out of my pocket and left it on my desk in the office? No dice. Where could it be? Had I pulled it out somewhere during my day and left it behind? I was frantic! Sure, there wasn’t that much cash in the wallet, but I didn’t want to have to deal with having to cancel all of my cards, not to mention having to get a new driver’s license and other I.D., etc. etc. etc.
Then it hit me. I remembered that earlier in the day I had been wearing my Transcona Nationals sweatshirt (the football team my son plays for). I reached into the pocket and – sure enough – there it was. I can’t describe the relief I felt at that moment – I was joyful, ecstatic, enraptured, jubilant, overjoyed, rapturous (thank God for thesauruses!)… I was even blithesome!*
As I reflected on this incident, I started thinking about a parable Jesus told once about the joy there is in Heaven when someone becomes a Christian:
“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.” (Luke 15:8-10).
In the third part of this parable, Jesus tells the story about a son who leaves the father to pursue a sinful, rebellious life, but finally comes to his senses and arose and went home to his father. Jesus describes the reunion scene: “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” What a beautiful picture of the love that God has for all those who will return home to the Father’s house! The Father said to his other son, “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
Are you lost? Have you wandered away from your loving heavenly Father? If so, I want you to know that there is no greater joy that you can bring Father God than to return home. He loves you, and nothing you could ever do can separate you from His amazing, unconditional love. Go home today, and experience the joy and peace that only comes from being in His presence.
– Pastor Chris
*blithesome: adjective; lighthearted, merry, cheerful.