The Value of One
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Panic set in as I realized my wedding ring was missing.
I had put it in my pocket earlier that day for safekeeping. That was a routine for me when I shampooed my hair, prepared messy foods, gardened, or otherwise did anything that might taint the look of my precious ring. It was a valued symbol of a covenant I had made many years earlier.
But later, when I put my hand in my pocket, and realized it was empty, I frantically retraced my steps, hoping to find my ring.
We looked in the bathroom, by the front door, on the porch, in the driveway, in every crevice of the car, and even up and down the aisles at the local grocery where I had shopped earlier that afternoon.
I searched and searched along with my family members and grocery store employees. We prayed and even called the police and posted a notice on a local lost-and-found page. But none of us could find this irreplaceable treasure.
Other times when I had misplaced an item, my searches were not as intense. In fact, a few of those times, I chose just to give up the search as I grew weary. Or I rationalized that I could just replace the lost item when I needed it again.
But the hunt for the ring was not one of those half-hearted searches. In fact, we looked diligently for a few days, with the subject of the lost ring often filling our conversations.
It was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.
So, when my husband finally found that ring, we were ecstatic! It was under our bed all along. Apparently, it had fallen from my pocket while dressing.
Yet our rejoicing upon finding this lost wedding ring pales in comparison to the rejoicing in Heaven over a lost soul who turns to God.
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, in Matthew 18:12-14 (NLT), we read:
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
This is the same God who is described in Psalm 50:10 as owning the cattle on a thousand hills.
A God with such provision is not poor. Some might even say he could afford to lose the occasional one that wanders. Yet He is the One who notices and searches for even the one who has gone astray.
The Bible does not describe that “one” except to say they went astray. We don’t have details of how they looked or how others accessed their value. We just know that the Good Shepherd noticed the one was gone and recognized the need to search for him and bring that one back into the fold.
God is this Good Shepherd who recognizes the value of each one of us. Each was bought with a price—His son’s blood. And He realizes that is irreplaceable. In fact, priceless!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to follow your example as the Good Shepherd and value others the way you value them. Help us to diligently search, with the intention of not stopping until that which was lost has been brought into the family of God. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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