Of Rings, Retainers, and Redemption.
We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Luke 15:32
I was greeted by my husband on the driveway one Monday morn after I’d taken our daughter to school.
“I’ve lost my wedding ring.”
Oh, lovely. I swallowed a snarky little ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ response that I’ve sometimes fired off when someone’s first words of the day have sharp edges.
I sent out an SOS to one of my prayer warrior princesses and to one of my sons who’d just sauntered past my open parlor door. And by mid-afternoon, the Lord recovered my husband’s wedding ring. At the bottom of the kitchen sink, obscurely hidden beneath the metal drying rack.
Who knew? Well, the truth is, God knew. Even before it slipped off my husband’s finger, He knew. And He graciously chose to honor even a small handful of powerful and effective prayers (James 5:16).
The following day, after having just had her braces removed, my daughter was given the nearly impossible task of being responsible for a clear, almost invisible, upper retainer. The orthodontist reviewed the care and caution guide, emphasizing in particular that she should never wrap the retainer in a napkin while eating. It’s likely to get tossed.
And so it did. Only four days later. Following an outdoor, evening meal in the woods while camping with our extended family.
My daughter’s parting words, spoken before I lumbered a flash-lighted path to my tent, clawed at my conscience: “You know, Madison’s mom dug through an entire dumpster outside a Mexican restaurant and found her daughter’s retainer.“
I’m thinking, “Uh uh. That thing is so lost. It would be impossible to recover it.”
The next morning, I glared at the five, ginormous, black Hefty trash bags near the picnic tables, knowing that one of them had swallowed the invisible retainer. And only God knew exactly which one it was. So I prayed, “Lord, would you please allow us to find it?”
And He did, in only the second of those five bags – after rummaging through the remains of the previous evening’s meal pasted to paper plates, several crushed soda cans, and a good number of filthy diapers. What’s that phrase, a ‘happy camper’ 😁.
The Lord had graciously chosen to return two items of value that week. He’d not lost them, but He knew their whereabouts and He allowed them to be found.
But then there was the young man I chatted with for nearly an hour one evening. He’d lost something too. It was God. This weary soul gave testimony as to a crooked spiritual journey and how, at this point in his life, he’d become tapped out on all things pertaining to God.
“I don’t know who God is,” he lamented.
Code for: Somewhere along the way I’ve lost Him.
Once more, in the course of a week’s time, something had been lost. It was redemption. You won’t find me searching for it in a kitchen sink or a trash bag. But you will find me on my knees, uttering a warrior princess prayer:
“Lord, please reveal Yourself to this young man. He’s having difficulty finding redemption.”
What have you lost? What are you doing to find it?