Our internet’s been going down, and whenever it does work I end up checking my email, Facebook, taking care of my Travian village…. you know, all those important things. 😉 And then by the time I get around to my blog the internet’s down again.

So this is a post I started a week ago now…

On Thursday, our cashier Steve had a day off and went for a hike. The next day, he hadn’t come home that night and no one had seen him… they started the search and by the next day, Saturday, we were pretty worried! While I worked I thought of him… I was cashiering, and all of his words of advice he had given ran through my head. When I saw little kids, I thought of him because he loves to make faces at the younger children. 🙂

Praise the Lord, on Saturday afternoon they found him. The tension that had been in our cafe was released and a new feeling of joy flooded in. We kept saying to each other – “I’m so glad Steve is okay!” and “I can’t wait to hear his story!”

As it turned out he had been hiking from Rampart Ridge to Comet Falls – some of my friends just did that hike a few days before he did, or at least tried to. They lost the trail in the snow several times, and I saw their videos – sometimes they were walking on a steep slope that dropped quite a ways down.

Steve spent two nights outside, having broken his ankle and fallen into a ravine. He either landed in or crawled to a tree well, where he was protected from the wind and elements somewhat, but where the heat sensors from the helicopters couldn’t detect him. He packed smart and came away with only his broken ankle, a broken rib, and hypothermia. WOW. Praise God!

Being made in God’s image, the feelings we experience are feelings that God experiences also. In Luke 15 Jesus talks about that wonderful feeling after you’ve found something that was lost. He gives three examples –

A man with 100 sheep, who loses one.

A woman who loses one silver coin of ten.

And a man who joyfully welcomes back his son who has grossly insulted him, and returns broke, to work as a servant.

In all of these stories, there is something that is safe and secure, and there is something that is lost. There are 99 sheep, safe in the pen. There are 9 coins, still sitting where the woman left them. There is a son who never left his father, never stopping working for his father’s business.

Luke 15…29 He answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

I can see why the brother would get mad – I would be pretty mad too, if I were in his shoes. But I’m also glad  God is so concerned with the lost… because I’m pretty sure none of us can say we’re always secure at home, like the safe sheep, and coins, and dutiful son. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love… We can make a fuss over how many people were out there searching for Steve – but if I were him, I would want everyone and their cousin looking for me, too.

And that’s what God does. He pursues.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow (Hebrew word radaph – to run after (usually with hostile intent; figuratively (of time) gone by) — chase, put to flight, follow (after, on), hunt, (be under) persecute(-ion, -or), pursue) me all the days of my life.”

I’m so glad God’s nature is different than ours. We give up on people, break promises, and are unconstant. God, however, is faithful and trustworthy, and will not give up on us.

For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day… I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

-Ezekiel 34

 

“My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill;
They have forgotten their resting place.
“ The children of Israel were oppressed,
Along with the children of Judah;
All who took them captive have held them fast;
They have refused to let them go.
Their Redeemer is strong;
The LORD of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their case,
That He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
-Jeremiah 50

 

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
-Matthew 18:11

 

The next time you find something you thought you had lost (or knew you had lost!), savor that wonderful feeling, and know that that’s what God feels when you choose to call Him Father, and return into His arms. 🙂 For your return He throws a feast and parties.

If you walk away from God, and if you stop and choose to turn around, you have but to take a step – God will run the rest of the way to take you back into His arms.

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