The day after I die, God’s prayers inbox will be so greatly reduced that He might take a day off.
Not because I’m a prayer warrior, quite the contrary. Lots and lots of little prayers seeking guidance to find stuff absentmindedly misplaced .
I generally think myself organized. All the items I routinely misplace have a home base where I keep them when not in my possession - car keys, glasses, cellphone, favorite pens, journal and wallet. However, when something else is on my mind, I put stuff down in an odd places. Invariably, I don’t discover the loss until I need them next , often when I am hurriedly flying off to somewhere.
After quickly searching primary and secondary home bases where the item(s) should be, my anxiety builds as the item remains lost. Prayer is often a last resort.
The apostle Paul offers a great insight for how to approach all forms of lostness encountered in life.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7, NIV)
By “anything,” I presume all the little items I mentioned earlier are included. Seems to me he’s saying that a properly postured prayer draws God’s peace that “transcends” whatever I think is important at the time. When God’s peace reigns in me, lost priorities change.
So far, I’ve never lost something that was necessary for my next breath. If I ever do, God would still be in control ensuring my good and His glory. (See Romans 8:28)
Lost to found was particularly on my mind because I celebrated another birthday last weekend. Birthday on Friday followed by Easter on Sunday. The close proximity and order of the two celebrations this year really struck me.
My birthday marks the path of my life that gained an entirely new context when 35 years ago, I was presented with and accepted an invitation to align with the one, true God. Easter marks the reality of that encounter for me.
Every person born is seemingly “alive” but, in reality lost and dead until we encounter and submit our life to Christ. We can mark a lot of birthdays but if we don’t also mark Easter, we sadly miss the essence of true living no matter how we measure or are measured according to the standards of this world.
Embracing this reality has taken me a long, long while to grasp and appreciate because, quite frankly, my natural inclination and preference is to fit in, be relevant and liked by the people, community and society where I live.
See, the radical gospel that Jesus Christ came to reveal is that worldliness and godliness are mutually exclusive. This was what he lived and sacrificed himself to make a way for you and me to discover, embrace and enter into. Welcome to the upside down gospel.
A birthday without an Easter is like hanging tinsel on a gallows. Thanks entirely to the grace and mercy of Christ, I gratefully mark this and every birthday with an even more significant Easter. (See Romans 5:8)
Thanks to Easter, every lost item presents a new opportunity to give thanks for the finding that redeems the losing. Even so, I’m a work in progress toward STARTING the next loss with prayer instead of ENDING there.
Lost to Found is something worth celebrating!