The Lost Coin
Recently, I was looking at the difference between Thankful and Grateful. Thankful meaning to feel happy or relieved about something and grateful meaning to appreciate something.
Today, I am both, and turkey has nothing to do with it.
The ancient writer Luke, an eye-witness of Jesus’s ministry, recorded in his books lessons from the Teacher. One such account is in Luke 15 when Jesus shared a story of a widow losing a valuable coin and working to find it. This visual helps us understand what it is like for our Creator when we are lost in sin, separated from Him (sin being defined by James in chapter four v. 17 as knowing what's right and choosing not to do it).
Caleb has been reading, listening, engaging with instruction from the Bible all
his life (Hearing, Romans 10:17). He has grown to understand or believe, the simple, common-sense truth of the Bible through these lessons (Mark 16:16). He has reached the age of cognizant maturity and comprehends “repentance” and its necessity in reconciling with his Creator (Acts 2:38). Being able to understand repentance and wanting to be separated no more led him to courageously follow through with the wholeness of his salvation to include confessing this belief (Mark 16:16) and being immersed in water to trigger that reconciliation (Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16). Now, through his relationship with God as a baptized Christian, obediently and purposefully taking each of God’s required steps for salvation, not one less in necessity than the other in the reconciliation, he will forever have access to grace and forgiveness with the promise of an eternal home.
In the conclusion of Jesus’s lesson of the lost coin, the woman’s jubilation upon finding that which was valuable to her gives us a pretty clear picture of what it’s like for our Creator when we are found. Jesus said, through Luke, that there is “joy before the angels of God” when one soul is reconciled. It’s hard to imagine doing something on earth that gets any kind of reaction in heaven, yet even among all that inconceivable wonder, one soul obeying the simple message of Christ as presented in the Bible does just that. So, it’s a pretty big deal.
On Thanksgiving eve, I could not be more thankful and grateful. Caleb will never do anything that could make me more proud of him than I am on this day — even if he does do something worthy enough to “make Athens bigger on the map” (his aspiration). I am so thankful and relieved to be 100% with my kids choosing to obey the message of Christ. My heart is at peace.
I am also grateful for a church leadership that purposefully designs an educational curriculum that systematically reveals the truth to our kids. Youth activities are not calendar fillers. Classes from birth forward are not story-time. I am grateful for leadership that is driven to shepherd souls and not entertain people.
I am also grateful for faithful Christian friends that diligently support our church leadership’s goals through teaching classes and volunteering for activities. The elders and deacons can plan and design efforts for spiritual leadership and growth all they want, but if there are no members who support and execute those efforts, it really doesn’t matter how great the plan is. So, I am grateful for those feet on the ground. I am grateful for ministers that minister to my kids as individuals and equal members of the church family and not just as “one of the Williams kids.” I am grateful for those beautiful Christian siblings who have taught my kids in class through the years, spent time preparing materials according to the plan, have patiently and sincerely answered their questions — of which I know there were and are many!