Missing Child

"Missing Child," read the poster at the mall. "Disappeared on 4/18/07 from in front of her school ... Brown eyes and brown hair ... 5 feet tall and 100 pounds ..."

I cannot begin to understand the agony of the parents of a missing child, as they fearfully ponder what their child may be experiencing. Overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness, they would give anything to take their child's place.

God understands the suffering of the parents and the lostness of the child. We are all born "lost," separated from our Heavenly Father. However, unlike the parents of a missing child, God knows exactly where we are at every moment. Every second, He is aware of what is happening to us and inside us. From the number of hairs on our head to the exact configuration of our DNA, no detail is too insignificant for Him to concern himself with. Matthew 10:30 says the very hairs of our head are all numbered. God sees every cell in our body, and without Him, they would all disintegrate into nothingness. "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17, NIV). In Him, "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28, NIV).

Like a loving Father, God sought a way to bring the human beings He had created back to himself.

He sent His own Son to take our place, to suffer the indescribable pain of being separated from God so that He could reclaim every lost person. The terrible irony is that most people do not realize that they are lost. The enemy encourages them to fill the emptiness inside them with activities, pleasures, accomplishments, and possessions. However, these things can never satisfy the God-given longing of their heart. Many run from the emptiness within, not recognizing that God's heart aches to fill them with himself.

In Matthew 18 and Luke 15, Jesus told the story of the lost sheep to help us understand how God feels about those who are separated from Him. A shepherd had one hundred sheep, and one of them wandered off. So, he left the ninety-nine and searched earnestly for the lost sheep until he found it. He joyfully put the sheep on his shoulders and returned home. Then he called his friends and neighbors together and invited them to celebrate and rejoice with him that the lost sheep had been found. Jesus said that heaven rejoices over each person who recognizes that he is lost and repents. The loving Heavenly Father welcomes home every lost child.

God actively pursues those who once were safely in the fold but wandered away. Perhaps you are in that group. The temptations of this world gained a foothold, and almost before you realized it, you strayed away from what you knew was right. Perhaps you suffered some loss or trauma, and you felt that you could no longer trust God. In your confusion and disappointment, you allowed bitterness to become a wall separating you from your Heavenly Father.

God knows exactly where you are, and He understands how you feel. Why not bring all your pain to Him? Give Him a chance to extend His forgiveness and healing. Don't run from the One who loves you the most.

© by Howard W. Stevens