Things aren’t where they are supposed to be. What is up?
I have been misplacing or losing things lately. This is unusual since our house is small, and there is a place for everything, and that place is where those things should be found. Sometimes, however, they aren’t.
This past month, I misplaced an indoor thermometer we use often. This week, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a box we keep in the same room, and there it was. We also finally located the scissors not in the drawer where they belong, but in the drawer where we keep the kitchen towels, and it goes on and on.
The losing and finding have become quite inexplicable. I lost a bracelet, and about a month later, my husband found it in between the car seats. I lost two earrings worn to church on different occasions, and within a week of losing each, I found one on the pavement outside the church after a week of heavy rainstorms and the other in the shrubs.
Really, what is the "chance" of that? None, I say. I always ask God if He would help me locate my errant items, and somehow, someway, the Almighty God, creator of the universe, points out to me or my husband my temporarily mislaid items. How nice of God to find them for me. Isn’t God in the finding business then?
He seeks and finds the lost souls - those of us that have wandered from our faith, as well as those that never even knew they were lost. What a blessing it is to know God is seeking us.
Almost anyone who has visited a church in the last century would have seen one of the many paintings showing Jesus knocking on a large wooden door. This is the picture most associated with the verse, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 30:20)
In the picture, Jesus is obviously standing in front of a specific door that, to me, also represents the verse, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) He knows those that are lost in the world, but He also knows their names and addresses. What a glorious thought.
As a pre-teen and teenager, I had fully given my life to the Lord. We had a teen-led prayer meeting every Saturday morning, at 7 a.m., at church. As everyone knows, you cannot drag the average teen out of bed that early on a Saturday, unless they are sincere in their beliefs, which we were.
We were strong in our faith and trusted God in prayer, at least as long as we were under our family and church's protection. At some point in our lives, each of us went out from under that safety net, and how did we do?
I’m not sure how the others faired, but I failed miserably. I never forgot my need for God, but somewhere along the way, I convinced myself He probably wasn’t any more interested in what I did daily than my parents were once I was out on my own. My parents raised me well, and once I was of age, they allowed me to venture on my own, trusting that I had learned those lessons.
I made mistakes, but I did not call home and confess my own stupidity. I doubt many of us did that unless we needed to be bailed out of a critical situation. That is where most of us meet God up close and personal, at the point in life where we admit we can’t handle something on our own, then we can hardly wait to hear from the One we have been dodging for years.
Thankfully, although I missed the mark of following the path God desired for me, He was kind enough to not desert me. I was not lost in God’s eyes, even though I mislaid my own life for a time.
He is so faithful to forgive when we see our errors and ask for forgiveness. He may not always bail us out of the consequences that come from our poor, sinful decisions, but He will show us the way to maintain obedience afterward. I am grateful for His grace of forgiveness.
God’s word tells us when we repent, He forgives, and those forgiven sins are, “As far as the east is from the west. . .” (Ps. 103:12) When we truly repent, God forgives and forgets. Our repentance comes when our hearts are convicted of our sins.
The One that knows our address knows our hearts, as well. Therefore, we must address our waywardness and adjust our path to follow God's desired direction for our lives.
Recently, I was reading Exodus, which describes the incense God ordered burned in the Tabernacle day and night, as a pleasing aroma to Him. The requirements were that it had to be salted, pure and sacred – Holy to the Lord, which is what our Heavenly Father asks of us today.
We are to be salt (and light) to this broken world. Our actions and thoughts are to be pure and clean. We are to be sacred – set aside for God’s purposes to honor Him, and we are dedicated as holy to the Lord when our lives are given to God’s direction.
Jesus' followers are the pleasing aroma God now desires. The Tabernacle is gone. Each of us can intentionally choose to be salted, pure and sacred in all we do, and all we are, to the honor and glory of our God.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City.