Finding the Lost
Have you ever noticed how we sometimes get lost without even realising it?
I recall plenty a time, especially when travelling overseas, that I would prepare my itinerary, locate my map, observe the direction in which I was heading and familiarise myself with local landmarks and signs, only to realise I was still completely lost.
Life is a lot like that; and the sad reality is, for those spiritually wandering in darkness, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is sometimes further away than they often expect. Perhaps the only truth north is finding where we really belong.
In Scripture, there is a story of a shepherd who leaves his 99 sheep on a hillside to go after the one lost sheep. Jesus himself tells the story:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
- Luke 15:4-7
In one sense, it is totally impossible for the sheep to know completely that it was lost; and almost equally incomprehensible to realise that the shepherd would value one sheep over ninety-nine others who behave themselves and stay put!
Yet that is exactly why the lost must be found; and found by the Shepherd who loves them the most.