I am back from vacation!
For the sake of accountability I want you to know that even though I took time off from writing my daily posts, I did not take time off from my Bible reading. I hope you didn't either!
During September I am going to be studying Luke 15. The series is entitled "LOST". I hope to capture the sense of urgency that God has for lost people.
Have you ever been lost? Can you remember the fear and the desparation that you felt when you realized you were lost?
When my kids were young I took them to Six Flags amusement park near Chicago. We had an amazing time. They found their delight in shaming me into getting on some rides I had no business going on.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and told them that henceforth they were riding the roller coasters without me. I think they could see the fear in my eyes and understood I was serious. So, when the urge hit them to get on the American Eagle, the world's largest wooden coaster, I told them I would be waiting for them at this exact spot. I made them promise to stay together and keep track of their little brother.
Some forty-five minutes later, I saw my oldest son, Matt and his sister, Bradi emerge excitedly from the milling mass of humanity. They ran up to me and started to tell me how much fun the American Eagle was. But I was more interested in knowing where their little bother was.
"Where's Marcus?" I asked.
They looked behind them. They looked at each other. Then they looked at me.
"We don't know. He WAS right behind us!"
The terrible realization hit us - Marcus was lost, knee-high, somewhere in that ocean of strangers. Was he safe? What if someone had grabbed him? He must be terrified.
We tried not to panic. Not wanting to risk being separated from those two, I made them promise to stay right where they were and I waded into the crowd. Desparately I began the frantic search to locate my lost son.
I looked, and I looked, and I looked but to no avail. I concentrated my search in a general area where I thought he would be. No luck.
After combing that area several times and not finding him. I was trying not to panic. I decided that I had better go back and check on the other two and make sure they were alright. When I got there, I discover they were fine. Matt, Bradi AND Marcus were waiting impatiently for me to return. While I was desparately searching for him, he had ambled calmly back to them.
My panic turned to joy! My son who was lost was now safe! We were all together again!
I think in that brief moment I experienced what God feels when one who was lost in sin, repents and comes to faith in Christ. What relief! What rejoicing! How sweet the celebration!
Heaven is a happy place. There is continual joy and bliss. But only one thing sets off a celebration in Heaven - when a sinner repents!
For those few tortured minutes I was obsessed with finding my lost son. It was the only thing that mattered to me at that time.
That is how God must feel all the time. I had just one lost child, He has billions! For that reason alone He sent His only true Son "to seek and save those who are lost".
As one who has been found and as one who knows the relief of finding, I want to live with the urgency for lost people that the Father had for me and the urgency I had that day at Six Flags.
How about you?