Several years ago, Victoria lost a ring that her mother had given her. It was a diamond band that had been in the family for several generations. It was a beautiful ring with deep sentimental value. Sometimes when we'd go on trips, Victoria would hide the ring in different places in our house. We looked and looked and looked in every drawer, in every cabinet. I looked behind couches and in between chairs. I mean, I found things that I hadn't seen in ten years. But never the ring. After a couple of months of looking on and off, I finally had given up. That ring was nowhere to be found. But every few days, I would hear Victoria saying, "Father, thank You that I'm going to find my ring. Thank You that You're leading me and guiding me."
I didn't say anything out loud, but inside, being the great man of faith that I am, I thought, "Victoria, you are wasting your time. We have turned this house upside down. That ring is just not here." It's funny, even her mom noticed that she wasn't wearing it much anymore and asked her about it. Victoria said, "Oh, Mom. I've got it put away in a really safe place." I thought, "Yeah, so safe that we can't even find it."
As the months went by, I probably heard Victoria talking about how she was going to find that ring 500 times. I never once heard her say, "It's gone. I've lost it. What am I going to do?" She had the attitude, "I'm closer than I think. I know any day that ring is going to show up."
Three years later, we were driving home from Victoria, Texas, two hours south of Houston. We had just ministered at my brother-in-law and sister's church, Jim and Tamara. Driving on the freeway at 11:00 at night, Victoria said, "Joel, you'd better slow down. You're going to get a ticket." I said, "I'm not going to get a ticket. I'm only going 70. The speed limit is 65." She said, "No, the speed limit is 60 at night." I said, "No, it's 65." She said, "Joel, I'm telling you, you need to slow down." I kind of laughed and said, "Victoria, I've got the favor of God. I'm not going to get a ticket."
But God has a sense of humor because just about that time, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the red flashing lights. I pulled over and the officer came up to the car. He was a real nice, polite, young man. He said, "I need to see your driver's license." I gave it to him. He said, "Are you the minister?" I said, "I am." He said, "Did you speak at Faith Family Church tonight?" I said, "I did. That's my sister's church." He said, "I know. My father was there. He's the head usher." I said, "Oh, man. That's great." He said, "Well, I need to see your insurance card."
And so Victoria started digging through the glove compartment. It was dark, and we were a little uptight about being pulled over. It seemed like we could find every card except the right one. Victoria started taking all the stuff out and moving it around. And at one point, she reached way back in there with her little finger. In the crack of the glove compartment, in the dark, she felt something sharp. She kept digging and digging. Sure enough, she pulled it out. And lo and behold, it was her ring. She was so excited. She was so thrilled. She forgot all about looking for the insurance card. I thought, "Girl, you're rejoicing, and I'm about to go to jail." "We've got to find that card!"
We finally found it and gave it to the officer. He said, "Joel, I'm going to let you go. I just have one request. When I come visit your church will you save me a seat?" I said, "Officer, I'll save you a whole section." We drove off that night thinking, "God, You are so good. I didn't get a ticket, and Victoria found her ring."
The point is, Victoria stayed in faith. She had the attitude, "I'm closer than I think." Maybe today something is lost in your life. Maybe it's not a ring; maybe it's a relationship, or a job or something in your health. The principle is still the same. Keep hoping, keep expecting, keep declaring. God knows where those lost things are. and He knows how to restore what's important back to you!
"Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' "(Luke 15:8-9, NIV)