When I walked into work this morning our receptionist surprised me by presenting me with one of my earrings. I’d lost it about a month ago. It wasn’t a valuable earring, or even particularly sentimental, but I’d worn that set often and liked them, so I was disappointed when I discovered that I’d lost one.

I’d looked in my car and the office parking lot but had been unable to find it. Finally, I resigned myself to the thought that it was gone for good. I had no reason to believe that it would be found. And the one earring by itself was useless. Still, something kept me from tossing it. For some reason I kept it in my jewelry box. And when its long-lost mate was returned to me today, I was elated to remember that I’d kept the other earring and had a pair once again.

What makes this lost-and-found story special to me was the fact that, mere minutes before arriving at work today, I’d been praying about a particular matter that seems hopeless. I’ve prayed countless times about this matter, and it seems that little progress has been made, at least from my very limited point of view. At times I wonder why I still hold onto the hope that things will change in this situation, when there is no evidence to suggest that it will. But hope, I’m learning, is not a bad thing. I certainly don’t want to hang onto false hope–but I think too often, the temptation is to give up hope altogether, learn to live with the status quo and not expecting change to take place. Just because the change may not occur on my timetable, does not mean that it won’t happen at all.

I’m thankful that God used a small lost earring to remind me that He is in the business of restoration. Perhaps today I needed some encouragement to not be afraid to hope and to ask.

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