The Sunday before Christmas, December 23, 2018, started the way I expected it would. I woke up before 8am to be ready to go to church around 10:15. My granddaughter had spent Saturday night with my husband and me 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 apply lotion to my legs. The assumption made it easier for me 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 my Jeep. 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 immediately 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 application of lotion to my legs thinking I must have put the rings in my lap to apply the lotion and forgot to put them back on my hands afterward. I had probably gotten out of my automobile with the rings 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. 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 my 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 intact. 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 the 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! 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 a real reason to celebrate.
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 spirit cannot be replaced. Jesus is actively searching for those who are lost. 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.
Luke 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
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.