My husband has spent days looking for the luggage carrier we secure to the top of our car when traveling with family to the beach. Days. He is one of the most organized people I know. And when something disappears it drives him nuts. I have helped look, and we've called extened family and asked them to check their garages and basements, just in case. I wish I could find it for him, he'd be so happy. I'd go out and buy a new one, wad it up and stash it somewhere just to say, "Here it is, honey." But I don't think he'd fall for it. The thing that would please him most would be to find the lost luggage carrier.
Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep. He shows us how tenderly God loves us and searches for us when we stray. When the shephard finds his lost sheep, he will rejoice. And Jesus tells us there will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. Jesus goes on to tell parables about the lost coin and prodigal son. Three stories in a row in Luke about rejoicing over a lost item or soul. Three!
As I've watched Tim agonize over this lost item, I've thought about this parable. We could buy another one. God could find another Christian to love. But he wants those who are lost. Jesus tells us that three times. What an awesome God!