Carol was buzzing with excitement to go shopping at the big store in a nearby town. I haven’t been there for months! Black Friday and payday together—what could be better? Christmas decorations! Live potted evergreens! Yard displays! Stocking stuffers! Oh, wow!
Carol liked to park near the garden shop entrance. But all the spaces were taken. If she had been in a stadium that held 20,000 fans, she would be in the top row and need binoculars to spot the super store. In her haste and excitement, she forgot how big the parking area was and forgot to pay attention to the numbers on the rows or any landmarks around her parking space. None of the stores in her area had numbers, pandas, or alligator rows.
After an exciting couple of hours of checking out new merchandise and visiting with friends inside, Carol strode confidently out of the garden center to the parking lot with her purchases.
She checked near the garden entrance. No car there. Where could it possibly be? Did someone steal it? What an inconsiderate thing to do! After a moment, she thought Or…am I lost and forgot where I parked the car?
After an energy bar and an extra 15 minutes of exercise jogging up and down each row, Carol found her car parked just where she left it.
In church circles, the words “lost” and “found” may be used as freely as salt and pepper. It doesn’t mean that someone has misplaced their car in the church parking lot, which is considerably smaller than a super store.
“Lost” means that a person may never have heard about or accepted Jesus Christ as messiah and the son of God. His teachings, all through the New Testament and penned in his words, reflect unique and wise guidelines for living a spiritual life. For those eyewitnesses who saw him bring the dead back to life, heal those with birth defects, cure mental illness or make people whole who had missing parts, the crowd was astonished. But did they get it? Jesus wasn’t just a prophet. For scholars who then and now have realized Jesus’ birth and life fulfilled more than 300 prophesies, he was more than a man. For those who witnessed the risen Jesus who appeared to them after he had been crucified, died, and was buried, they knew no one else had ever risen from the dead. Jesus Christ was who he said he was—the Messiah, the son of God, the Savior of the world.
Jesus himself stated, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no man can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30]
At the end of his life, a discouraged, but still wealthy and powerful King Solomon wrote the chapters of Ecclesiastes, concluding that youth, vigor, wealth, civic projects, nearly everything he’d tried and could name was…”’Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’” [Ecclesiastes 12:8].
But he concludes, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” [Ecclesiastes 14:13]
But more than being lost is the joy of finding—your car in a huge parking lot—or a new steadfast friend and Savior of the World, Jesus Christ. Say yes to Jesus today.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]