The reality of God’s Word being living and active is both miraculous and astounding. I love how richly the bible comes alive in our personal experiences today as it did for others centuries ago. In particular, Jesus’ parables have a certain timelessness because the stories reveal how intimately the Kingdom of God intersects with our human condition. About a month ago, God quite literally downloaded the Parable of the Lost Coin directly into my heart and my life in a powerful, tangible way.
Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
The Lost Ring
My husband should be right behind me. After all, he has been our fearless leader along our interurban bike excursions during our 10-year anniversary trip. I peer up the hill and, to my surprise, see his bike laying down and Michael wildly combing the grass with his hands. He looks up long enough to point to his hand and shout two heart-stopping words, “my ring!” before continuing his frantic endeavor. Without another thought, we both resolve to search for the precious ring.
In an instant, our life now exists within the perimeter of this small grassy hill. The hustle and bustle of the city fades into obscurity. Nothing else matters now. Surely, Michael presumes, it couldn’t have possibly gone too far. He knows exactly where the ring came off his finger. A quick, 5-minute set back turns into 20 minutes, then an hour. We both plead to God for help.
Joining the Search
It’s as if creation itself joins in the search. Clouds of gnats feverishly swarm the grass with urgency, as the shade trees drop their leaves like hot tears of frustration. Mosquitos buzz words of encouragement in our ears and instill an itching desire to keep moving. The self-absorbed honey bee seems too busy and doesn’t even care to stop.
Our unwavering determination begins to falter, but we do not surrender. Just as doubt and futility begin to set in, a lovely family passing by takes pity on us and joins the search. After another 20 minutes, we are still missing the elusive ring. The 7 year old girl reassures us that, even if we don’t find the ring, we will probably find a huge diamond instead, and goes on her way.
By this time, it has been over two hours and we are starting to lose hope. At this point, God sends another couple of Good Samaritans who are determined to enjoy this exercise in futility with us. The wife makes a joke about us acting like the dad looking for his tiny children amongst the grass in the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids. I laugh and respond with a facade of unrelenting optimism. “It doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we do it together.” The daylight starts to fade along with my spirits, but we press on.
And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.
“I found it!” the man yells, much further down the hill than we presumed the laws of physics could have possibly allowed the ring to land. Unbelievably, he holds up that beautiful gold ring with inlaid diamonds in the shape of a cross and olive branches engraved around the sides. I was filled with a mixture of relief, awe, and sheer joy. I can recall no other time in my life that I wanted so badly to hug a stranger. It was only then I realized, in our hyper-vigilance, that we had forgotten to ask him is name. “Alejandro,” he replies. We all hug and rejoice in celebration. It is a glorious end to a victorious day.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)
As much as we delighted in finding a lost ring, just imagine how much more God rejoices when we turn back to him!
While a wedding ring is precious and holds immense meaning and significance here on earth, God values us so much more than any material thing. That day, God reminded me how much he loves us and will pursue us relentlessly to the ends of the earth!
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when God’s Word became revealed in a real, fresh way? I’d love to hear your “parable” story!
Found in Christ,