It felt that as fast as my steps went, my heart was beating faster. Scanning the gymnasium full of wedding guests over and over, looking inside and outside going in circles, I couldn’t find my 2 year old anywhere. I was able to keep my emotions paused while I searched for her at first, but after 10 minutes of not knowing where she had gone, they began to push my steps faster as a lump grew in my throat.
It all culminated outside with a: “Mommy! Look what I found!” and there was my smiling little girl, running toward me from a hidden park on the other side of the building with two hands full of playground rocks. I burst into tears saying “Corrie! Where were you? We were looking everywhere for you! You scared us.” The rest of that day I was shaken.
That night as I prayed over Corrie while she slept – the severity of shepherding our children was felt deeply. “She is so naive, Lord!” I cried “She fears nothing! She doesn’t realize she is a sheep in need of a shepherd.“… “I would do anything to keep her safe.” And there in the dark room the Lord taught me a lesson:
“I did everything to keep you safe. I cared more deeply than you did – even to the point of death.”
And there I wept again. Realizing that I had tasted only a piece of the great love our God has for us. He is motivated to draw us to safety. I was comforted in the safety I’ve found in Christ’s life – and I was also challenged by His compassion. He searches for the lost sheep. He leaves the ninety-nine to find that one lost. How aggressively does He love and seek after that one? So very deeply. I tasted that. While God is not tainted by fear like I am, He is the shepherd who knows – and pursues.
If you are feeling the same pain of love for a dear one who is lost (maybe not physically, but spiritually), I hope this is an encouragement to you. He is not passively forgetting about them. He has made every measure possible in preparation for that loved one to be safe. It was for them that He is patently waiting and it is our opportunity to join him in being motivated with that same pain of love. Look to the great shepherd who knows how to draw each heart to himself in safety.
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36