Is there another pair of words that grasp the meaning of “opposite” better than “Lost and Found?” Yes there is; I'll get to that in a few paragraphs. But in the meantime, when a treasured item is lost, with no more hope of its “safe place” being remembered; and when its recovery from fathoms of water and depths of muck below a boat drifting over an unmarkable spot is merely a forsaken and forlorn dream, the hurt is real. The tragedy is evoked by the heartbreak of reality in the lap! Refusing to face facts may delay grief for a moment, but your 'something' truly is gone forever.
While loss is so real and painful, we somehow move on. With each deficit comes a setback, but then a restart begins. Without this capacity to recover, the compounding losses we face in life would necessarily lead us all into an irreversible death spiral. And yet, we do still survive, and even thrive.
“Found!” creates opportunity for a restart as well, but with the extreme opposite of a setback in place. “Found” begets rather, a head start; an unexpected recovery with rejuvenation of hope and joy! Not only is the pain of loss canceled out, but recovering what was even thought to be lost raises the value to the point where its mere unlost state seems to be an extreme enrichment, like a surprise bonus to the portfolio.
Another set of dichotomous words comes to mind, which may equal the bipolar sense of “lost and found.” These are, “Life and Death." Curious that we place these pairs in contrary order. Certainly we do experience loss before finding, and life before dying, but perhaps we would benefit from the longer view if we recognized that death is not just the next step, or the final step. But if it is indeed followed by a continuing, eternal life, we might rather refer to matters of "death and life.”
This eternal life which so overwhelms our present minimal life and makes its generally happy appeal fade until losing it, for a presence in God's Kingdom would be like dropping a penny in the tall grass; not worth bothering about. Such a life can only be had by the forsaking of this broken life. Just as obtaining a brand new free appliance can only be done by returning the failed one before the warranty expires.
The work of Christ on the cross essentially provided us with the extended warranty of a lifetime; not an unnecessary insurance that may or may not fully cover a possible product failure, but an absolutely needful redemption of an already devastated and doomed bio/spirit system.
Why do so many despair of finding good in life? Because when problems accumulate, both externally and within, we sense that we are lost. We know that we cannot save, or even find, ourselves.
Why did Jesus Christ endure the agony, the terrible Loss, of Death on the cross? Because of “the joy set before Him!” He wished to see us be Found! And rejoiced in providing the only way to real Life.