[D]uring an early morning jog a sign caught my attention. Printed on computer paper and slipped into a plastic sleeve, someone had nailed the sign to a tree near my home. Curious, I went over for a closer look. The title caught my attention:
L O S T
My Dearly Loved Kitty
Beneath the heading appeared a color photograph of a silver-gray kitten. On either side of the picture a single word in bold letters stood out: “Reward!” Underneath the photo it read, “Please help me find Fluffy and bring her back home. Reward offered.” The bottom of the poster listed the owners name and contact number. Taking mental note to keep watch for the lost cat I continued my jog.
Several days passed with no trace of Fluffy the Kitty. Search and rescue activities in the neighborhood intensified. More posters began appearing throughout the area. At first I noticed just one or two posted at the entrances of nearby subdivisions. Soon they hung on light posts at every intersection. On corkboards above community mailboxes. On the gateposts of nearby parks. By the cash register of a local gas station. The signs were multiplying. And with them came the desperate plea of Fluffy’s owner. Please join in the search. Please assist in the rescue. Please bring Fluffy back home again.
Let me pause here for a moment. Before I finish the story of Fluffy’s fate, I’d like to ask a question. Have you ever felt lost? Not lost like a tourist in a new town, but lost like a creature who can’t find their way home? Maybe at one time you had your world figured out. You knew who you were, what you wanted, and where you belonged. Your heart had a place of comfort and contentment to call home. But then circumstances changed. The unexpected occurred. The pink slip arrived. The divorce papers were served. The doctor’s diagnosis came back. Before you knew it, the certainty in your life was gone. Your sense of safety and security vanished. In their place came feelings of isolation and separation. You suddenly felt–lost. Lost in a world you no longer recognized.
Believe it or not, there’s an ancient prophet who understood these feelings. He wrote about it in the book of Isaiah: “We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way” (53:6, MSG). If you’ve ever felt “lost” you know the feeling of helplessness. You know you can not find your way home on your own.
Fortunately, there is hope for the lost.
Just as Fluffy’s master went looking for her, your Master has done the same. The God who made you hasn’t abandoned you. Instead, he sent his Son on a search and rescue mission to find you. Luke 19:10 puts it this way, “The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them” (NCV). Good news? Yes. God doesn’t desert the lost. He seeks them till he finds them. Then he rejoices with them.
About two weeks after I first saw the sign in my neighborhood I noticed it had changed. Someone had taken a big blue marker and crossed out the word “Lost.” Scrawled next to it in capital letters with exclamation points it now read, “FOUND!!!” Though I wasn’t there at the reunion of kitty and human, I’m betting it was a joyful affair with plenty of hugging and snuggling, petting and purring, laughing and rejoicing. After all, the lost was now found. The separation over! Two happy hearts beat together again. The joy of belonging to each other could resume!
If you feel like a lost soul in this world, there’s good news. Someone is looking for you. If you feel like you’ve wandered far from home, there is hope. God, your Father and Master, is searching for you. In fact, he’s been seeking you your whole life. Are you ready to be found? If so, the solution is quite simple. Stop wandering. Stop trying to find your own way or do your own thing. Instead, let yourself be found by the Father. He loves you more deeply than you can imagine.
What does it feel like to be found? Ahhh, it’s something to savor. A reunion worth remembering. You’re home at last. The separation over! Two happy hearts—yours and God’s—can beat together again. The joy of belonging to each other can resume!
Perhaps you and I and Fluffy can agree…nothing compares to the feeling of being hopelessly lost then wondrously found.
“I have wandered away like a lost sheep. Please come after me…” Psalm 119:176 CEV
Question: Have you ever lost a pet or something else you loved and found it again? How did it feel? Do you think God might feel that way about you? (Share your thoughts in the comments)