A man named Bill Rittenhouse was on a trip many years ago and found a suitcase on the side of the road. Trying to determine who owned it, he opened the suitcase, finding the usual items you would expect in a man’s luggage. There was only one clue as to the owner was a white box that contained a twenty dollar gold piece. Around the gold piece was a band with the words, “Twenty years loyal and faithful service” on one side. On the other was printed, “Presented to Otis Sampson by Northwestern States Portland Cement Company”. No city was named. Bill mailed seventy-five letters before he received a reply from a Portland Cement Company, saying that several years before there had been a Mr. Otis Sampson in their employment, but that he had retired. They sent his address and Bill wrote to tell him that he had his suitcase. Otis replied immediately, identifying the contents. He said that Bill could dispose of the suitcase and all its contents, except the gold piece. Several times in the letter, Otis referred to the gold piece as his most precious possession. So Bill returned the gold piece and used the opportunity to tell Otis of his most precious possession—Jesus Christ.
He didn’t hear from Otis until a year later, when he received a Christmas box from him. Inside was a smaller white box with a rubber band around it and the gold piece inside. A note was enclosed, which read, “Last Sunday my wife and I were baptized in a little church here in Colorado. We want you to have the gold piece to carry with you at all times. We are two old people. I’m seventy-four years old, my wife is seventy-two. You are the first one who told us of Jesus Christ. Now He is our most precious possession.”
I love this story for many reasons. First, that Jesus is truly the greatest treasure of all. Second, that God works through the crazy circumstances of life to draw people to Himself. And third, that He uses us to be part of that awesome work—if we will take the opportunities the Lord gives us to be His ambassadors. Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “The love of Christ compels us.” If you’ve been fearful or distracted to speak to others of Jesus, pray that the Lord would renew your heart, filling you with His love so that you are compelled to joyfully live and speak of the riches of His grace and salvation to others—some of whom have never had anyone tell them of Jesus.