The road from the refinery to the airport in Corpus Christi, Texas is usually hot and dusty, especially in the maw of a full-blown Texas summer. The humidity from the ship channel mixes with stifling heat and an air-conditioned car is more a necessity than a luxury.I was riding with another oil company employee down this very road when he suddenly stopped talking and pulled quickly to the side of the road. Leaving the car running — and thankfully, the air conditioner going full blast — he trotted back a few feet, picked up something, and tossed it in the floor of the car as we resumed our trip. He saw me peering at the found thing near his feet, and mentioned casually, “Tape measure. I found one by the side of the road some time s ago and have looked for them ever since. I’ve found ten or twelve tape measures by the side of road over the past several years.”
I was stunned. I had seen nothing. Since that time, however, two things have happened. First, I’ve read about other people who seem to find arrowheads where no one else does and people who find golf balls in unlikely places. Second, I began keeping one eye peeled when driving. I’ve found brand new shoes, pliers, hammers, knives, and six hundred dollars in large bills on the street.
It’s a pleasure to find something of value where no one else does, isn’t it?
The wise men found Jesus, Jesus found faith, the kingdom can be found, and wedding guests were found literally by the side of the road. A colt, no figs, sleepy apostles, favor with God, and healed servants were all “found things” in the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible.
The Good News is that He looks for us still.
My favorite trio of “found things” come from Jesus’ three parables in Luke chapter 15 — the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son. When read together, they show deep truths. You see, we are not only able to look for things, we also have someone looking for us. And when we are found, there is great joy in heaven! We are God’s “found things” that bring Him great delight. Yet while you and I are found, we are not “foundlings.” A foundling is the term for a child deserted by parents and left for someone else to care for. Our heavenly Father never deserted us; we deserted Him. We all have sinned and turned away from God. (Romans 3:23) Nevertheless, God came looking for us by sending His Son Jesus, and at just the right time. (Romans 5:8) And the Good News is that He looks for us still.As humans, we have enough of God’s image in us to imitate His search. We can find things. In fact, we can join in His search for people. It’s great to find things. It’s even better to be found by God. Greatest of all, we can help others be found by God. Open your eyes to those around you — to your family, your friends, the person at the gas station. Look at them. Even more, help God look FOR them. Be His eyes and ears in your world. All it takes is a little desire and practice. It’s great to find tape measures, tools, shoes, or money. It’s even greater to find that lost coin, that lost sheep, or that lost son