“But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:2-3 (NLT)
I went to an open house at my grandkids middle school. In the hallway at that school sat a large table and a hanging rack with a big sign – “Lost and Found.” The table was covered with the various things that some student had lost and another student had found. The hanging rack was packed with sweatshirts, sweaters, t-shirts and jackets. I was surprised to see it so full already, only a few weeks into the new school year.
We talked about what the owners of those lost items might be like. The pink t-shirt with sequins might belong to a younger girl in the school who likes to dance. The hooded black sweatshirt might be the property of one of the skateboarders. The binder and textbook probably belonged to someone who has trouble keeping track of their things. The new tennis shoes to someone who “just had to have them” and is now not even missing them.
Items in the Lost and Found change every day. Items are “found” by their owners and other items take their place. Things are constantly being found and lost, lost and found. Some find their way back to their original owners while some end up going to the local used clothing store. Some of the items do not even realize they are lost because their owners haven’t come looking for them.
Have you ever lost anything precious or important to you? Were you worried that you might never find it again? Did you search EVERYWHERE you could possibly think of to find it again? And when you found it, did you rejoice?
This is how Jesus feels about us – and about your mom or dad. He doesn’t like lost things. He wants everyone to be found by Him. If we go too far off the path He has chosen for us, He goes looking. And He keeps looking until He finds us again. Jesus Himself says in the Bible that He is the shepherd and keeps a watchful eye on His flock. If one of them goes missing, He immediately leaves the gathered flock to search for it. When He finds it, He rejoices because the lost is found.
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:3-7 (NLT)
It’s not just you that Jesus goes looking for. He is also looking for your dad or your mom, searching high and low for them, calling their name, calling them home to Him and to their families. And He never gives up. No matter where they go, no matter what they say, no matter how long it takes, Jesus will not give up calling them home.
Maybe your mom or dad don’t realize they are lost, like those items on the table that the owners never go looking for. You can’t find what you’ve lost unless you go looking for it. Your prayers for your mom or dad can help the lost find their way home. Jesus searches for them constantly and the more you pray, the more their eyes will be opened to see that they are on the wrong path. And when Jesus finds them and leads them home, you will be rejoicing along with those angels in heaven.
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began”. Luke 15:22-24
A Stander in Nebraska