You take one down you pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall! If you don't know that song, I'm not sure if you were born in America. I don't think my kids know it, but everyone in my generation knows it. Many a school bus driver has quit over that song. Does this song have anything to do with the blog today? Sort of. I have a story about 99 chairs, and I couldn't help but think about that song.
In 2004 when our church moved from the school we were meeting in to our current facility, we needed some chairs. My pastor in Texas lovingly bought our church 100 grey padded chairs. We've had them for 6 years now, and they have served us well.
At our church we have classroom and small groups, so our chairs are constantly being moved around or used off site for various ministry needs. As of late, our church has been growing, and we have needed every last chair we could get our hands on, so in addition to purchasing more chairs, we called back all of our chairs from the various places they have been.
As long as I can remember for the past 5 years, I have only been able to count 99 of our padded grey chairs. Every one I talked to had no idea where the chair was or what happened to it. I searched all over the church numerous times, and constantly was asking church people where that last chair was. I had my suspicions on who had it, or where it ended up, but I was never able to find it.
Things like this bug a guy like me. Inventory control is a big deal. Especially when you have a solid number to go off of. Lets be honest, what kind of man would I be if someone was going to come to our church and asked me how many grey padded chairs we had, and I had to say 99. 99? They would probably think horrible thoughts about me and the church! The world would stop spinning on its axis, mayhem would happen in the street and dogs and cats would start living together. It would be the end of life as we know it.
Not really, but it just kind of bugs me.
Yesterday the heavens opened and the 100th chair was returned! It turns out another tenant in our building somehow got possession of the chair 4 or 5 years ago, and didn't know where it had come from. They asked me yesterday, "oh, by the way, is this your chair"? Uh, YES!! I was elated! The chair which was lost was now found! No more counting and worrying about the lost chair!
I said to the guy as he handed me the chair- here's my blog tomorrow!
Now the spiritual implications of a lost chair seem to be lacking, but it just seems to be that way. Jesus told a story about a guy who had 100 sheep and lost one and how happy he was when he found the 100th sheep. In the story God makes it clear that he cares about things that are lost.
Here's some encouragement today. Maybe you haven't lost a chair, but maybe you've lost something else that is far more important than a chair. Perhaps it was a relationship or something that mattered to you.
I want to encourage you with two things today.
1. What you lost may not be gone forever.
2. God cares about your loss.
The creator of the universe knows exactly what you lost and where it is and he cares about it and you. Nothing about you is insignificant, everything matters. Open yourself up to Him today and talk to him about your loss and see what he does with it. Have faith to believe that God can either return or repair or comfort you in your loss. He loves you.
He cares about sheep. He cares about chairs. He cares about you.