The Sunday before Christmas, December 23rd, started the way I expected it would. I woke up before 8am to be ready to leave for church around 10:30. My granddaughter had spent Saturday night with my husband and I so she accompanied me to church that morning.
This is where the day takes an unexpected turn. After the meet and greet segment of the church service I always apply hand sanitizer to my hands. As I was spreading the sanitizer I noticed two of my rings were not on my hand where I had placed them that morning. I felt a little uneasy about it but assumed I must have left them in my automobile when I took them off to slather lotion on my legs. I was wearing a dress. Dry skin on pale legs is very unappealing. Anyway, the assumption that my rings were in my Jeep made it easier to focus on the sermon.
After the service, my granddaughter and I slowly shuffled through the crowd toward the exit. We made our way back to the automobile. No rings! My granddaughter put me at ease by suggesting that I must have left them at home. So I drove off. While driving, I mentally retraced my steps of that morning. Realizing that when I left my house I was wearing my rings, I immediatly called a friend, who I knew would still be at the church. I ask her if anyone had turned two diamond rings in to lost and found. “No,” she responded.
At this point I’m remembering the whole lotion on the legs incident thinking I must have put the rings in my lap to apply the lotion and forgot to put them back on my hands afterwards. I had probably gotten out of my automobile with them in my lap and they fell onto the parking lot. Thankfully I remembered where I had parked. My friend selflessly offered to go out into the parking lot to search for them. I was so grateful! But I never heard back from her. This was not a good sign.
Meanwhile, my granddaughter and I were on our way to get our traditional after church smoothie. She loves our little tradition and so do I. I didn’t want to spoil our time together with concerns about my rings so I tried not to talk about it. Afterwards, on my way to taking her home, I announced that I was going back to the church to look for my rings before going back to my house. She agreed that it was a good idea.
I prayed, off and on, as I drove back to the church parking lot. I prayed when I got there and while I was searching. My prayer was that I would find the rings unharmed or If someone else had found them that they would return them to the church. I searched for a while; going over and over the area where I remembered parking. Getting discouraged, I nearly gave up searching but I kept praying and asking God to help me find the rings. Finally I found one of them! The excitement I felt at that moment is indescribable! I knew that the other one had to be nearby. Once I calmed down a bit, I resumed searching and praying. Then there it was! I had found it! They were both found and in tact. I began to cry and laugh simultaneously. I was so happy! I text everyone that I had told about losing my rings to tell them the good news. They rejoiced with me!
It was a miracle that no one had seen them and taken them. It was a miracle that no one had run over them. It was a miracle that I didn’t give up and kept searching for them. It was a miracle that I had found them. It was my Christmas miracle!
Those rings mean so much to me. One is my engagement ring that I’ve had about 29 years and the other is a ring my husband bought me about 20 years ago. I’m not sure of their monetary value but to me they are priceless.
We are like those rings. We are either lost or were lost; separated from God due to sin. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, Luke 19:10. In Luke 15:4-7, Jesus tells the parable of a shepherd who had 100 sheep but lost one. He left the 99 to find the one that was lost. When the sheep was found the shepherd rejoiced and called his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him. We are the lost sheep. Jesus is the good Shepherd. When He finds us there is tremendous rejoicing in heaven!
Just as my rings are priceless to me; to God we are priceless! In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the hidden treasure and the valuable pearl. A man found a hidden treasure in a field. So the man went out and sold all he had to purchase the field so he could own the treasure. Also, a merchant went out looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. We are the hidden treasure and the pearl of great value. God gave His best, one and only, to purchase us; Jesus! John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
To you John 3:16 might just be a sign you see people holding up in the stands at ball games but it’s so much more than that. It’s the true meaning of Christmas! It’s the real reason to celebrate. God sent His one and only sinless Son to seek us and save us so we won’t perish but instead have eternal life with Him. It’s the miracle of Christmas! This is truly something to rejoice over!
Sure my once lost rings are very precious to me. My heart would have been broken had I not been able to find them. But those rings can be replaced. A human soul cannot be replaced. Jesus is actively searching for lost souls. Just as I was praying to find my rings, I am praying that Jesus finds you if you are lost. You are priceless because the priceless blood of Jesus was shed for your salvation. I rejoiced when I found my rings, but that’s nothing compared to the rejoicing that will take place in heaven when you are found.
Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.