Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lost Things

Lost things, and even lost people, don't always know when they are lost. But the one who has lost them knows. Sheep are not smart animals, and they have no idea when they are lost, but the shepherd certainly knows! A lost valuable does not know it has been misplaced, but the owner will search diligently and agonize over such a possession until it has been located. The prodigal was unaware for some time that he was lost. He was living it up and having a good time. It took a series of negative experiences until he realized his condition. But his father knew. If one were to ask the prodigal's father about the condition of his son after he had left home, he would have simply said, "My son is lost."

Now consider perhaps an even more important question: "Where was the father while the prodigal was lost?" This morning we received a call at the church office from someone responding to our radio spot that had just aired. The subject matter was that "God cares." But this person called to tell us that God does not care. We reminded him that God cared enough for His own Son to die for us. But his response was, "That was two thousand years ago. What has God done for us lately?"

How can we be so confused? When the prodigal was lost, the father was in the far country, too. Even though the father never left home, his heart travelled to where his boy was, longing for his return. Every parent has personally experienced the hurt of their own child if real love for the child exists. Why would we think that for one moment that God is not hurting when we are hurting? Why would we think that He does not care when we are lost?

The fact remains that at some point we have all been the prodigal. We have all been lost. Some of us are still lost. Does this mean God does not care about us? It is the opposite. The only thing that is keeping Jesus from judging the world immediately is the patience and longsuffering of our heavenly Father, who loves us and cares about us so much that He is mercifully waiting for some of us to come back home. It was the broken heart of God over our "lostness" that made Him willing to sacrifice His own Son and suffer the pain and loss that no human being could ever understand.

Lost things and lost people do not always know that they are lost. But the one who lost them always knows. And the one who lost them always cares. And the one who lost them will keep searching and hoping. And the one who lost them will rejoice when they are found!

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing." - Luke 15:4-5

No comments:

Post a Comment