“When he finds [the lost sheep], he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” — Luke 15:5
I don’t lose things very often, but I once lost track of a student during an all-night event at our church. I left him behind when the rest of us left to go bowling. He had wandered off by himself to another part of the building, and, because we were running late, we left church in a hurry and didn’t count how many students got into the vans. We were waiting in line for bowling when one of the other students got a text from the stranded boy wondering where we all were. I felt horrible and drove back as fast as I could to find him!
When we lose something that’s important to us, we have a sense of urgency to find it right away. This helps us understand how seriously God takes it when a person gets lost in life—for he loves us more deeply than we can imagine. In this parable Jesus explains that his Father will leave behind everything else and do what it takes to bring his lost child home (see also John 3:16). That kind of love and concern can be a huge comfort for us—and give us new life!
We all know people whose faith journeys have become derailed because of questions or conflicts. Perhaps it is a child or a parent. Maybe you have wandered away from God yourself and are lost. God doesn’t forget any of us, no matter how far we might wander.
He is pursuing every lost person as his beloved child so that they can have full life. And when they are finally home, the celebration is amazing!