Don’t tell Brian, but I lost a diamond earring. These are not the first diamond earrings I’ve lost. Both pairs were Christmas gifts from Brian.
I lost pair #1 in Memphis at my niece’s wedding. I’m not sure if I laid them down and didn’t pick them up, or if something more dastardly happened, but when I got home from that trip and unpacked, they were not with my other jewelry.
I recently wore pair #2, but forgot to take them off before I went to bed. Amazingly I woke up in the middle of the night when I felt the back of one on my pillow. I removed the remaining earring and put it on my bed stand and thought I’d easily find the missing one the next morning.
I searched the entire bed area, I shook the blankets, I felt the floor with my hand, and I got a flashlight to look under and behind the bed; it was nowhere to be found. I decided I’d find it the next time I changed the sheets. Nope.
Every week when I change the bedding I would look for it, but it was gone. Every time I vacuumed I would listen for it, but no, no earring. Yes, I’m the lady who loses diamond earrings – you might want to walk behind me, you never know what you might find.
About the only time I think about the missing Memphis diamonds is when I think about this currently missing diamond, so I know that eventually, this one will be little more than a memory. And, no, diamond earrings will not be on my Christmas list this year; I don’t deserve any more chances.
Some of us may feel that way when it comes to our relationship with God – he’s given us enough chances and we keep blowing it. We keep losing the passion, the flame, the commitment. We try and we try, but life gets in the way and we grow cold.
Oh, it’s not like we just decide one day that we are through with God. Oh no. It’s more like the missing earrings. We love God, we enjoy being with him, we enjoy the flash, the excitement, the novelty, the newness, the attention… but one day, we lay him down somewhere and forget to pick him back up and then before you know it, we’ve lost what we had – whatever it was.
Perhaps, over time, there might have been an experience, or heartache, or joy that prompted us to start over with God – like a new pair of diamond earrings! We were thrilled to be back with him, we prayed, we journaled, we started going to church or Bible study, and we made Christian friends. We were back! But not for long.
Something happened that disappointed, or threatened, or caused us to pray a little harder, but in the moment God seemed silent. We woke up in the night and felt for him, but he didn’t feel near. We looked in all the familiar places, but simply couldn’t find what we were looking for. So, we gave up. God was lost to us again.
Sure, we thought about him often, perhaps weekly as we went to church – or drove past it. We picked up our Bibles every now and then and tried to conjure up what we were missing. But it just eluded us. Therefore, we reasoned, we didn’t deserve more, so we decided it is what it is, and we left it at that.
But, my story doesn’t end with a missing diamond. This morning, I changed the sheets, and I decided to look again and I asked Brian to help me. We lifted the mattress. We shined a flashlight – it had to be somewhere – and yet, it wasn’t anywhere near the bed.
Then I thought, what if it flew off when I changed clothes all those months ago. I went into the closet, I looked everywhere, I felt into the dark corners, and turned every shoe upside down – and there it was! My diamond earring tumbled out of a boot that I hadn’t yet worn this fall! It was never lost! It was right there, all the time.
God is never lost to us either! If you are struggling to find him he’s right there – at the end of your rope, in the depth of your depression, in the restlessness of your rebellion, in the theater of your drama, in the turmoil of your soul: He is right there, and he is waiting for you.
If you’ve been trying to create, or recreate, the passion, the fire, the emotion of the experiences you’ve had with God in the past, perhaps the problem is just that – you are looking for an experience. However, none of us can maintain an experience. God is more than an experience – he is a reality, he is the living God, and he is waiting for a relationship with you, a relationship that he will maintain (Jude 24).
You are not lost, God knows where you are. You cannot hide from him (Psalm 139:1-18), there are not boots that he does not wear, and neither is God hiding from you. God has promised that if you seek him with all your heart, you will find him (Jeremiah 29:13). If you want to find God, the way to the Father is through Jesus (John 14:6).
You are right if you think you don’t deserve another chance, but God, in his grace, is offering you one. This Christmas season, will you return to the One who loves you more than anyone else, the One who has the best plan for your life, the One whose glory shines brighter than the sun: The Creator, God.
It is not an experience or an emotion that is waiting for you. God is waiting for you. God tells us that all day long, he holds out his hands (Isaiah 65:2) will you choose today to run to him.
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