One of my old favorites is the story of the father and son who worked for months to build a toy sailboat. Every night when he came home from work the man and his boy would disappear into the garage for hours. It was a labor of love–love for each other and for the thing they were creating. The wooden hull was painted bright red and it was trimmed with gleaming white sails. When it was finished, they traveled to a nearby lake for the boat’s trial run. Before launching it the father tied a string to its stern to keep it from sailing too far. The boat performed beautifully, but before long a motorboat crossing the lake cut the string, and the sailboat drifted out of sight on the large lake. Attempts to find it were fruitless, and both father and son wept over its loss.
A few weeks later as the boy was walking home from school he passed his favorite toy store and was amazed to see a toy sailboat in the window–his sailboat! He ran inside to claim the boat, telling the proprietor about his experience on the lake. The store owner explained that he had found the boat while on a fishing trip. “You may be its maker,” he said, “but as a finder I am its legal owner. You may have it back–for fifty dollars.”
The boy was stunned at how much it would cost him to regain his boat, but since it was so precious to him he quickly set about earning the money to buy it back. Months later he joyfully walked into the toy store and handed the owner fifty dollars in exchange for his sailboat. It was the happiest day of his life. As he left the store he held the boat up to the sunlight. Its colors gleamed as though newly painted.
“I made you, but I lost you,” he said. “Now I’ve bought you back. That makes you twice mine, and twice mine is mine forever.”
I hope by now you have figured out that this is not just a story about a sailboat!
He made us. We were lost. He bought us back. We are twice His and twice His is His forever.