What Am I Grateful for Today…Lost and Found

“Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it?  When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’10  In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life” (Luke 15:8-10, Common English Bible).

Have you ever lost something and then spent a great deal of time looking for it? Sure you have. I think just about any of us have faced such a time. It is frustrating, isn’t it?

It happens to me all the time. It might be because I am not the most organized person on the planet. My sermon this coming Sunday is in a style called a “chalk talk.” I knew I had the paper I needed for the sermon. I thought it was at the parsonage here in Sweeny but when I came home from the office and started looking for it. I knew that it was a paper product that had to lay flat. I looked in all the places I thought I would find it. I went and looked in the front bedroom closet. That has been the location for most of the arts and crafts as well as Cindy’s sewing stuff since we moved here a year and a half ago. It wasn’t there. I looked under the bed in that room. It wasn’t there. I moved on to our bedroom. I looked under the bed there. Still no sign. I was beyond frustrated. I was concerned. I knew that without one of the special surfaces used for pastels, one with “tooth and texture,” my sermon could fall flat because the chalk wouldn’t stick to the paper very well.

I called Cindy. I thought I remembered her saying they were here. She suggested I look on the shelves in our closet, to no avail. As we talked I didn’t think they were still in Lufkin but I knew at this point anything was possible.

Next, I thought of a box in the garage, the only box these sheets of paper could be in. And, they weren’t there either.

I thought, well, let’s see what I can find on Amazon. The store where I had bought these sheets several years ago is a pretty good drive from here. Let me see if I can find it online. I found the product but either it wasn’t big enough or the shipping to get it here was cost prohibitive.

I then started looking for workable substitutes. Again I was striking out. I was about the order some pretty expensive canvas when Cindy called me back before she had a chance to look around our condo. She said, “Go out in the garage and look on your look shelves. I went out there and on the top shelf, under some glass pieces I had put there to help keep the paper flat, I found my paper.

Can you imagine my relief? I was really worried about how I was going to do my sermon without my paper or a known working medium. I was VERY relieved.

If you are anything like me, when you lose something important like that, you understand my relief. It is incredible.

In the lesson, the woman had lost a silver coin. Depending on what commentary you read the coin was either a denarius or a drachma. Which doesn’t really matter because both were about the same value, a day’s wage for a common laborer (Oxford Biblical Studies). For the average citizen, it was a great deal of money. Not only was it a day’s wage, it was also about what it would take to live for a day. To have saved that amount of money would be difficult for a poor person of either the Roman Empire or the Greek World. It was also a tenth of everything she owned. Of course, she searched high and low for that coin.

When she found it, there was a great sense of relief. She was overjoyed and ready to throw a party. My relief yesterday was not equivalent. What I searched for was of relatively little value. It was important but I feel certain I could have found an adequate substitute. It was just going to mean giving up time. For her, it was a tenth of all she owned.

The real point of the parable is a lost soul is found and the joy of finding it. The drachma or denarius represents that soul. God’s joy over the lost soul being found is exponentially greater than me finding a few pieces of paper or a woman finding a coin, even if it is a tenth of her worldly belongings. The amounts don’t match up but the point is to let us see the importance.

The parable that immediately follows this one is about a man who lost a son who was found again. The father in the story even says, this son of mine who was dead is now alive and was lost and now found. Any parent who has lost a child, even for a little while knows that joy. I felt that joy when my son came home from Iraq.

Today I am grateful for the found paper. I am even more grateful that when my soul was lost, God was patient until I let myself be found. Friends, that is grace.

That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it down in your journal and then share it with someone who needs to hear it.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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