By Mark Ellis –
In the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, the Scripture reveals God’s heart to find “lost” sinners and the great rejoicing that takes place in heaven when one of them repents and is “found.”
Of course, nothing is ever lost from God’s perspective, so some believers have found it helpful to pray when somewhat mundane items like car keys or phones have vanished inexplicably.
As a 23-year-old going through Campus Crusade’s staff training, Paul Eshleman suddenly realized he couldn’t find the new Cross pen his fiancé gave him.
“She was coming to visit and I didn’t have the pen. I was griping to my roommate,” Eshleman recounted at the recent Finishing the Task conference. Eshleman founded the JESUS Film Project and currently serves as the executive director of the Finishing the Task Network.
“Why don’t you just pray?” his roommate asked nonchalantly.
“I can’t pray about a Cross pen,” Eshleman replied, thinking he didn’t want to bother a big God with a somewhat trivial request.
“That’s all you’ve been talking about,” the roommate chided.
Feeling somewhat foolish about the matter, Eshleman dropped to his knees next to his chair and prayed. “Lord, this seems really stupid, but if you could just tell me where the pen is…”
As soon as he uttered the word “where,” a thought jumped into his mind. Remember the VW when you were taking your clothes to the laundry.
Eshleman hurriedly got dressed, walked outside the dorm, and found the guy’s car in the parking lot that had transported him to the Laundromat.
He opened the car door and at first glance didn’t see the pen. But then something remarkable happened.
“I pushed my hand down in behind the seats and it closed over that Cross pen.”
Eshleman’s story prompted Pastor Rick Warren to recall a similar situation he encountered only a week before the conference.
“I lost my phone for a week,” Warren said. “I was about ready to go buy a new one and I thought, I haven’t even prayed about this.”
So Warren prayed, “Lord, I’m going to ask you to show me where this phone is.”
After he finished the prayer, he immediately felt a desire well up in his heart to praise God. He walked over to his wife Kay’s grand piano.
“I started playing some praise songs and I looked up and there was the phone.”
“Nothing happened until I started praising God. Then the answer was right in front of me.”
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