Matthew 18:12-14 If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.
Yesterday morning, the writing of my daily devotional was delayed a bit. My husband had noticed that one of the cows was in labor the evening before. He had checked on her a couple of times, but she hadn’t yet calved. So we got up yesterday and headed straight out to check on her. Naturally, she wasn’t where he had last seen her. We walked all through the wooded area where she was laboring the previous evening, but she was nowhere to be found. We drove around that particular 25 acre field, but we didn’t see her. We walked through muddy branches and through thick wooded areas. She was not in any of the usually “delivery rooms”. We had walked that field for over an hour searching for that mama cow, worried that she may be in trouble. Finally, after much rigorous searching, we spotted her. She had delivered twins! She must’ve had a little difficulty and walked all night because we found her clear across the field from where we left her. We were so excited to see her, upright, looking perfectly content with her pretty new babies. I squealed with joy when I saw those beautiful babies.
My friend, Gretta, said that this story sounded like a good devotional on the parable of the lost cow (sheep), and I agree. We were getting very anxious when we couldn’t find that cow. We saw all of the other cows in the field. All the other new calves appeared healthy and everyone else was accounted for, yet there was one missing. The one missing was is labor, and she was lost. We couldn’t find her anywhere. We spent a good bit of our morning searching for the one that was lost. We weren’t worried about the cows that we could see safely grazing in the field. They weren’t lost. They weren’t in trouble. They were safely in the field within the eyesight of the farmer, happy and safe.
This is how our heavenly Father sees His children. He watches over each and every one of us. We are safe under His watchful eye. But every now and then, we may wonder off track. We may start living outside of the will of God. We get into trouble. We may not realize that we are having trouble, but the Great Shepherd knows. The Holy Spirit will work within us. We will feel the tug as the Spirit urges us to come home, turn away from the wicked living, and turn back to Him. He will trouble our hearts and sometimes our situations to bring us back to Him. Why does He care so much? Why does He bother? Simply because He loves us so very much. We are His kids, and if we are in trouble, He wants to rescue us and bring us back into the loving shelter of the Most High. And when we return to Him. No matter how far we’ve strayed and no matter how long we’ve been gone, when we finally return, the Lord rejoices! He loves us so much, and when we return to Him, He celebrates with great joy.
What about those of us who aren’t Christians? What about the ones who haven’t accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior? Oh, I assure you, the good Shepherd is really seeking those that are lost. You may not know Him. You may not even know that you are lost or that you are in need of rescue, but let me assure you…the Father knows. He wants to rescue you today. He loves you. He loves the saved and the sinners, and He desires a relationship with all people!
If you are feeling lost, overwhelmed, off track, or just plain old weary, why don’t you come to the Father. He would leave the 99 to find the one that is lost to bring him home. He is calling you home today. Won’t you heed the call? Come on home to the loving arms of the Father. He wants to celebrate your return with great joy! You’ve not wandered too far away to come back home. I promise! He’s still waiting and looking for you right now!