Dr. Grant Scarborough
Once there was a story of a sock that was lost. It made the owner very sad, for it was his favorite of all his socks. He had one of the two socks and refused to throw it away because he thought the other one would show up, even if it has been eight years. The owner loved this sock more than the others—it was an expensive pair that was meant for biking. It also has a pretty cool design. He last wore the pair in Memphis and had moved two times since then and cleaned out his sock drawer numerous times. The owner of the sock would always find the lone sock and be filled with sadness. He never could let himself throw it away.
Let’s just say the owner was me because it was. And this story of heartbreak simply made me mad! I cannot tell you how many times I would find the lone sock and think, “This is it! The lost sock!” I would run to my sock drawer to be disappointed again. 8 years of disappointment and sadness. I know what you are thinking reader—you are thinking, this will have a happy ending. You are thinking my patience and searching paid off. But it never did. Every few months I would stumble across it, my favorite sock. There is just something about your favorite sock.
Then one morning it happened (once again do not get too excited dear reader). I found the sad lonely sock—I have searched for the other so often—and I thought, just maybe I will search again one more time. What would happen if I flipped through the drawer another time after doing it for eight years and it suddenly appeared. Man, what a great sermon illustration. I had to do it. I flipped through my drawer again disappointedly. But I was thinking the entire time about the sermon illustration I would do if it was there. (Not all illustrations are perfect.)
I could not help but think of the story of the widow who had 10 coins and lost one. She searched all day and when she found it, she called her friends in for a huge party, for a lost coin was found. How much more would Jesus do for a lost soul. Or maybe the shepherd who lost one sheep out of 99 that goes looking for the one lost sheep. When he finds it, he rejoices, throws a party. The sheep that was lost has been found, and the sinner that was lost has been called a son. Oh and what would I do if that sock appeared.
Jesus is a better searcher than I, for He searches to rescue the lost, the lonely, the forgotten. Sometimes it is a quick search; sometimes Jesus searches for eight years. But the Great Shepherd never loses His sheep. He finds all that the God of Heaven and Earth gives to Him. He not only finds, but He rejoices over them. God rejoices over His lost sheep—you were once lost. You have since been found and rejoiced over. God has thrown a party for you! He hung the decoration; He mixed the cake in the cake bowl; He called His friends; and He sung the song. Christ rejoiced over you. He sang over you. He celebrated you. This is CRAZY. You, the lost one, should be celebrating Him, the one that sought you out when you did not even know you were lost. Yes, you and I should be throwing the party for the great Rescuer. He did all the work. He traveled, He swept, He searched for eight years to find you, and you did not even know you were lost. And then the greatest part of the story: He celebrated you. He called His friends together and said, “Look! My son, my daughter, is home.” There is no more danger, no more loneliness, no more sadness, simply eternal joy because the searcher has celebrated me.
Man what a great sermon illustration. Amazing. What I would do to celebrate a sock, I thought, as I flipped through one more time. I cannot explain it—as I wrote my sermon in my mind—the sock appeared. I could not believe it—I was holding both socks. After eight years, I had a match. Where had they been? I have no idea. I promise; I am typing this with them on my feet. I have told everyone I have seen about the lost sock that came home. My wife knows, my kids know, my co-workers know. This could be the most exciting day in years. We even toasted my lost sock that came home at dinner tonight. As I type, I promise you I am not crying, but I am pretty close. I cannot tell you how much I have wanted to find that sock. A sock! Really nice cotton and polyester. Black and white thread. Woven tightly together. Probably made in China. I bet it cost me a good 15 dollars. Socks—I love them. The sole will wear out in a few years. They will then be tied together and thrown in a trash can.
How much more valuable are you than a sock? Christ searches you out. Your soul will never wear out. Your heart was woven together by Him in your mother’s womb. You are now a son, a daughter of God. And you are eternally loved. God has sought you, God has died for you, and God has rejoiced over you. The great lover of our souls says you are mine and I am yours.
Be loved by Christ,