“Where’s my purse? I thought I put it in the back seat when I strapped the kids in, but it’s not here!”
Our family had been taking a leisurely route to my in-laws’ home, stopping to see the new gymnasium at our Alma Mater, and then continuing down the two-lane road. When we stopped for lunch, my missing purse became the immediate focus of our trip. Two hours after leaving the university, I now realized I must have left it on the sidewalk when I secured the children in their car seats. This was in the days before cell phones. We had no choice but to race back, this time on the freeway, hoping some honest person had retrieved my bag and turned it in.
I took the gym steps two at a time, and threw open the office door, gasping for breath.
“Did you find a purse?”
“What does it look like? What’s the name in the wallet?”
Blurting out frantic answers, my anxious eyes followed the man’s hand as he reached into a drawer.
‘Is this it? One of our workers found it on the sidewalk and brought it in.”
“Yes, yes, it’s mine! Oh thank you, thank you! Please tell whoever it was that found it that I am so very grateful for his honesty.”
Ownership is important. We need to know what belongs to whom.
When I was teaching, it seemed like I spent too much of my day asking the same questions: “Does this jacket belong to anyone in here?” “Whose paper is this? There’s no name on it.”
Of course there are times people deny ownership. When solicitors come to the door, and I don’t want to listen to their sales pitches, I may give an evasive answer to the question, “May I speak to the homeowner?” After all, couldn’t the bank technically own the house if it had a mortgage?
I had an embarrassing moment at a secret gift exchange when the person who opened my gift, what I thought was a cute little carved mouse, screamed, “Who brought a RAT as a gift!” I quietly joined in the laughter, never giving away my embarrassed ownership.
Many times, though, it’s a case of denial of ownership, especially when we don’t want to own up to what we’ve said or done: “It’s not my fault!” “I didn’t say that!”
I try that on God sometimes. How foolish to think He doesn’t know the truth, the deep down secret I don’t want to share. After all He knows everything about me… because He owns me.
Jesus is the one who bought and paid for me… not with gold or silver… but with His holy precious blood. I know that. I learned that in church and Sunday school and in His word.
He is the one who “set His seal of ownership” on me (2 Cor. 1:22). And then He set me free!
Amazing isn’t it? I don’t HAVE to love Him. I don’t HAVE to follow Him. I CAN turn my back on Him and choose something else. But why would I after all He’s done for me? After all He’s given me?
No. I became His bondservant, returning to His ownership… of my own free will. Wanting Him to own me.
HAVING A MEANINGFUL CONNECTION TO GOD
So often we hear the phrases “Own this! You need to own this!” We humans understand the importance of ownership. There is no meaningful connection unless there is ownership… of a challenge… of a problem to solve… of knowledge.
There is no meaningful connection with my Lord unless I recognize His ownership of me. And the best part is, that ownership, in return, actually gives me everything. As the apostle Paul says, as a servant of Christ I can live my life as “having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor. 6:10).
Because I’m safe in this world and the next… knowing Someone is watching over me when I feel left by the roadside… when I don’t even know I’ve been left behind… when I forget who I’m connected to.
He’s the one who comes searching after me time and time again.
And my Lord Jesus has a message for Satan too.
He’s put a big, bold tag on me that says, “NOT YOURS!”