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Jill’s Journal

Jill Thrift

You know how God gives you success in praying for certain things, and how with each victory your faith is built up for the next time that kind of need arises? Some people develop faith for solving mechanical problems, some for creating needed inventions, some for healing backs, or even cancer. Well, my specialty is finding lost things. Maybe it’s because I’m an absent-minded professor-type who needs the help of the Holy Spirit to remember where I’ve put something or left it. However, I have also had success in praying for others with missing articles.

Living in cold New England, I once found that my favorite red wool scarf was missing. This was an item that I loved, and it brought comfort to me for sentimental reasons. I looked for a couple of days, praying as I searched everywhere in my house and car. Finally I sat still, closed my eyes, and asked the Holy Spirit where it was. After a few moments I remembered wearing it recently in a movie theatre. I immediately got in my car, drove to the theatre, and described my scarf to the manager, who proceeded to pull it from the “lost and found.” My favorite scarf found!

Last November I lost a key ring of nine keys that unlocked the building that housed our city prayer center, its storage closet, the soundboard, and related secured areas. By this time I had lost and found so many things that I had learned to pray before looking. I prayed several times the first week before telling the Director of the Prayer Center, with no little embarrassment, that I had lost the only spare keys she had entrusted to me. From time to time I prayed repeatedly to find these important lost keys.

Then one day in early February I opened a drawer in which I kept items for travel. It’s not a place I would store keys, and I live alone. Mysteriously, the keys lay hidden underneath another item. What caught my attention right away was the fact that I had just returned from the inauguration of a new location for the prayer center. The building that the ministry had leased for many years had been suddenly and unexpectedly sold the previous month. Neither the old tenants nor the new owner of the building had been informed about one another. The Director of the Prayer Center showed up for work one morning and found to her shock that all the locks had been changed and that our keys no longer worked!

I pondered the timing of finding the keys and wondered if God was confirming that we were not victims, but that He knew months before that the old keys would no longer be needed because he was relocating us. Since then, there seems to be new authority and wisdom in our prayers. Keys are a biblical symbol of both (Matthew 16:19; Isaiah 22:21-22).

Also this year my mother lost her credit card. We were at her cardiologist’s and she was asked to pay before leaving. She became quite anxious, dumping the full contents of her purse out onto the couch in the waiting room. We both combed through the emptied contents finding nothing. She was sure she had lost the card, and it seemed so to me as well. I was holding back praying but when I could no longer contain myself I blurted out, “Father, in Jesus Name, help us find Mother’s credit card.” Just as I began picking up the items to put back into her purse, I noticed the credit card right under my hand. We were both amazed!

Remember the stories in Luke 15 of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son? Let me share a true story of how the timing of finding a precious object confirmed the process of restoration in a precious son.

I have recounted some of my experiences seeking God about lost items. We are always filled with joy when we find something that we treasure, or something important that has been misplaced, left behind, or even robbed. Luke 15 tells three stories, each of which likens the joy of having either things or loved ones restored to us. The restoration of God’s children to Himself is heaven’s highest joy, and ours as well.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she 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

Earlier this year my sister told me that she had lost her favorite ring, a little gold pinky ring, handcrafted with semi-precious stones and purchased while she was visiting me in New England. Like the woman in Luke 15 who had lost a silver coin, my sister had searched her house thoroughly, but unlike the story, the ring was ne’er to be found. We each prayed and hoped, not really hearing where else to look. I encouraged her not to give up, sharing about the time I lost a bracelet crafted by the same jeweler and found it six months later in the garage right under my car.

However, there was a greater loss that had made my sister’s heart truly sick. All of our family was crying out to God for her adult son, my beloved nephew. When he was a young boy, the Lord had impressed Psalm 18 on my heart for him. When he became depressed and then seriously ill, this Psalm proved to be an anchor of faith for me that one day he would be healed and reach out to others with the healing he had received from God. Eventually it was determined professionally that he was suffering with a mental illness, but he didn’t seem to recognize his state. He left the country and was out of touch for several years. We prayed continuously.

When he showed up in our hometown, an uncle recognized him walking down the street. We were sad that he was not comfortable to talk or be with his parents or family. It was heartbreaking. There was great concern for his life. My sister and brother-in-law prayed in the extreme, and did all that was humanly possible to reach him and to help him. Many of us prayed daily, beseeching God to restore this precious son to us and to Himself.

After the last effort, he simply left town again. Where was he? Was he okay? What would happen to him in his unstable state? We had many real concerns for his well-being. And our hearts were rent with pain for the breach in the relationship. We continued to hold him before the Father. A couple of years more passed. One day, when my sister ran out of words to pray, she turned on the radio to find playing a beautiful song about the return of the prodigal son.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
Luke 15:13-14

About two years later my nephew made contact because he had run out of money, had been seriously ill, and needed help. He was in dire straights, and open to a visit from his parents.

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!’
Luke 15:17

With great hope and great trepidation, for they did not know what they would find, his parents flew to spend a few days with him. Indeed, he had come to his senses. They saw no sign of mental illness and marveled at what appeared to be a miracle! They delighted in him day and night, and agreed to help.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Luke 15:21

When they returned from their visit with their son, the whole family was overjoyed with them. We are still rejoicing in the gift of three wonderful days of love. Although there are yet mountains ahead that need to be removed, our faith is soaring from what God has already wrought. We now pray that this is a true new beginning for him.

Two days after their return home with the marvelous news, my sister sent me an email whose subject was “Lost and Now Found.” It was not about her son, but about her precious gold ring. At the end of the first full day of visiting their son in another state, her housekeeper called from her home and told her that she had found the ring under a couch. The Lord had waited until my sister saw her son first-hand in order to confirm that He is the Finder and Restorer of all things and people. If you are still praying and hoping against hope, your trust is in the right Person.

It’s the Christian Way!

In HIS Service,
Kent Simpson, Prophetic Pastor

Prophetic Ministries Tabernacle
PO Box 774
Gainesville, Texas 76241

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