“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:8-10, NIV).
Recently, I had an experience that brought this parable home to me in a new way. Several months ago, I suddenly noticed that my Indiana driver’s license was AWOL. This document is crucial for our family’s trips to the U.S., so I was troubled when I discovered it missing. I thought maybe it had fallen out in one of my drawers, and began the search.
For months, I hunted for my license. I emptied out many large drawers full of stuff, trying to find it. I researched what it would take to replace it online. The DMV required driver’s license number for this purpose, which I didn’t have memorized. I made more than one call, hoping for a different way, to no avail. I would have to go into their office in person, they said. My brain was rushing – We won’t have time to deal with this when we get there next time! Will I have to make a whole extra, expensive trip to the U.S. to solve this problem?
Then, in a quiet moment, Holy Spirit nudged me. Go look again. Suddenly, He gave me knowledge I didn’t have before. Your wallet is broken. I picked it up and explored the depths of one of the pockets with my finger. This is when I realized that the fabric had ripped, allowing the license to slip into the “innards” of the wallet. It had been there all along!
I immediately experienced a blast of relieved happiness. In fact, the rush of delighted emotions that washed over me was striking. I really can’t overstate to you how much it meant to me to make this discovery, with Holy Spirit’s help. I was profoundly grateful that He intervened and put a sudden, total halt to my frustrating need to search.
Just like in the Bible story, I wanted to call up my loved ones and have them rejoice with me! I did immediately message my best friend and share the good news with her. And then this parable dropped into my mind and spirit. In that moment, I felt the Lord saying,
You see why I put that story into the book of Luke? You are experiencing just the tiniest bit of what I experience when one of My children comes back to Me. You feel delighted? I feel ecstatic!!! My own euphoria is boundless. It goes infinitely beyond what words can adequately express.
That reminds me. I remember my pastor, years ago, talking about this parable. He pointed out that this passage says the rejoicing is “in the presence” of the angels. If you read closely, you see that it’s not the angels Jesus was referring to as gleeful. It’s Daddy God! He is the One rejoicing in their presence!
The truth we learn here applies to Daddy’s connection with you and me, too. You know how sometimes we allow guilt over our failings to keep us from His presence? And then His beautiful Holy Spirit woos us back to His waiting arms? This parable is about us too. Unbounded, ebullient, inexpressible joy fills Him up to overflowing when we return to His embrace.
So, in conclusion, hear this. You, dear one. You bring your Daddy far more joy than you know.
Have you ever found something you thought was lost for good? Can you relate to this parable?