Lost and Found
So Jesus used this illustration: "If you had a hundred sheep and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. When you arrived you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found.
"Well, in the same way heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who haven't strayed away!" Luke 15: 3-7 (TLB)
I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me for I have not turned away from your commandments.
Psalm 119:176 (TLB)
Josey McChesney lives in Missouri. A few years ago Josey's grandparents' dog, Lady, went missing. They looked everywhere for her, from the fields to the forest to the town and even to the town down the road.
A week later, Lady was still missing; they had almost lost hope. Dad went out for one final search of the countryside. After about an hour he came back. As he opened the front door, Lady appeared and ran straight for Josey's grandparents. Everyone rejoiced, happy that Lady had been found.
Sometimes we get lost in the distractions of the world around us. We have more to do than we have time for. School, work, taking care of children, taking care of parents, extracurricular activities, and much more fill our time. We may almost seem to lose track of ourselves. However, when we recount the story from Luke, we find comfort knowing God is searching for us just as the shepherd searched for the one sheep that had wandered away. When we slow our lives down enough to focus on God's presence, we find a celebration of a renewed life - ours!
Through their experience with Lady, Josey has renewed faith that God searches, finds, and brings us back with joyous celebration. Just as they did for Lady. Just as the Shepherd does for the sheep.
Prayer: Loving God, when we feel lost and troubled, remind us that you are always nearby, ready to guide us back home to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.