“My people were lost sheep.Jeremiah 50.6-7 (MSG)
Their shepherds led them astray.
They abandoned them in the mountains
where they wandered aimless through the hills.
They lost track of home,
couldn’t remember where they came from.
Everyone who met them took advantage of them.
Their enemies had no qualms:
‘Fair game,’ they said. ‘They walked out on God.
They abandoned the True Pasture, the hope of their parents.’
What does it mean to be lost? Webster’s Dictionary defines lost as “unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts.” Can you remember when you could not find your way, not knowing where you were? That moment when fear began to creep into your head? Ever been there, I have.
In the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Mountains, surrounded by towering Noble firs, it is easy to find yourself –lost. As a youngster, I knew to be alert and attentive to my surroundings. It just made sense. However, as darkness sets in the forest, it is easy to become confused. Even the familiar lose distinction as the light fades. Despite my naïve understanding of the outdoors and my ability to trek the forest floor, I was lost. I was desperately lost, and I didn’t even know it!
I experienced people seeking – emotional, legal, or leadership – direction in varied professional roles throughout my career. Many sought advice and answers for earthly problems. Each desired to know or learn how to extract themselves from their current predicament. They were lost, unable to find their way. Regardless of how safe and secure they felt in their position or possessions, they were just as doubly lost as I was as a child when trekking through the forest floor in the Pacific Northwest.
Why? Because we are all separated from God and unable to find Him on our own. No matter how much we try to rely on our strength, we cannot see the way without light. Unlike being physically lost in the woods or intellectually or experientially lost in our profession, where we may find a way out, we cannot bridge the gap between God and us. But there is hope. He has made a way, a light shining in the darkness. He is calling for us. Can you hear His voice through the trees?
How reassuring to know that God always knows where we are. (John 10:14 GW) That His Spirit is calling us home. (2 Pet. 1:3) The Good Shepherd has left the ninety-nine to find those lost, to return them, and care for us. (John 10:11; Is. 40:11). We may feel secure in our money, homes, things, family, and status, but it is false if it is anything other than Jesus. (Jas. 5:1) He provided the answer. Without the Light, you are unable to find your way. Mercifully, He reaches out and draws you to Himself. (Eph. 2:8–10).
Stand still and listen. Quiet yourself and sense it. Do you hear the voice? He is calling.
Do you know someone who’s lost or has lost their way? Picture them, and commit to praying for them by name. Pray for the opportunity and the words to say when you meet them along your life’s journey. You know the way home, and He is looking for them just as He was looking for you. Tell them. Share your journey from lost to found.
People need to hear your rescue story. How he brought you home to safety, and how he leads you through the dangers and traps of this world. Be the moment when the light shines truth through you and reveals the path out of the darkness. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News (Rom. 10:14–15)?
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