Lost & Found
I am officially back in America for Christmas break. Three weeks with family and friends to celebrate one of my most favorite holidays. I love the trees, the lights, the songs, and the food. I love catching up and spending time with the people I love. But to get here I had to cross an ocean on Monday.
Two car rides.
One lost laptop.
Yes, one lost laptop. After arriving in America, I found the gate for my last flight and went in search of food. As I was placing my wallet back in my backpack, I realized that my backpack seemed far too light.
As my heart hit the floor, I quickly stepped to the side of the concourse and unzipped the main compartment of my backpack only to have my fears confirmed. My laptop was missing.
In that moment I felt so nauseated; my heart stopped beating and for a moment I couldn't breathe. I could literally picture myself placing my laptop beside me on the bench after I re-cleared security in America. I knew I had left it there.
As I frantically made the journey back across the terminal to the checkpoint I had come through, all I could do was whisper prayers.
"PLEASE, PLEASE let it still be there."
"PLEASE let someone have turned it in."
"I could use a miracle right now."
All of my work for my master's degree was on that laptop including the unbacked-up work I had done on the plane.
As I neared the checkpoint, I saw two TSA officers who I flagged down and explained what had happened. These two guys were amazing and quickly got on the radio to see if my laptop had been turned in. Once they discovered a laptop had been turned in, they helped me find the checkpoint it was at. After logging in to prove the computer was mine, I was once again in possession of my laptop and ready for my final flight home.
It was an experience I would not care to repeat. But as I sat contemplating it, I was reminded of another story. Another person who was looking frantically for something that was lost.
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." ~ Luke 15:4-7If I was that upset over a laptop - which was mostly backed-up and easy (though costly) to replace -, can you imagine what the Father feels as He searches for lost souls, for me and for you?
I had no intention of leaving that airport until I found my laptop. I was prepared to search. To check every lost and found, every TSA check point.
That is how the Father feels about us. He comes after us. Searches for us. He proves that we are His. He went so far as to send His Son as a tiny baby who grew up to be a Man. That Man died on a cross and came back to life so you and I could be found.
When I found my laptop the first thing I did was log on to social media to share that, while it had been lost, it was once again found. I was sitting in the airport nearly crying tears of joy. Over a laptop.
Heaven REJOICES when the lost are found.
I will always remember that gut-wrenching moment when I realized my computer wasn't there. Just like I will remember then moment when I heard someone reply over the radio "We have an HP laptop."
Those feelings just scratch the surface of the ones that God feels when a lost soul comes home.
Think about that this Christmas season. You may be lost, but God came looking for you. He made a way for you to come home to Him. That is the reason for our celebration.