With weeping they shall come, and with consolations, I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel. Jeremiah 31:9
The Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
Perhaps you’ve never been lost. If you have, however, you know what a relief it is to be found – or at least to get un-lost! The problem with being lost is that once you’re lost, you can’t just turn around and go back to the place where you were unlost. Lost means lost. Lack of bearings. Uncertain options. No obvious correct path.
There may also be times we are lost and don’t even know it. We think we’re heading the right direction when in fact we are heading in exactly the wrong direction. We think we’re getting closer to our destination, but we’re getting closer to a destination other than we had thought. Ugh.
When it comes to being searched for and found there may also be two ways that occurs. If we know we’re lost and we are anxious, worried, and fearful about our situation, it will be good to know that someone is looking for us. We can hope to be found. If, however, we are wandering and pleasantly ignorant of the extent of our lostness and the danger that is at hand the experience of being searched out and found may not be immediately appealing.
Consider the hiker who is deep in the woods, lost and afraid because night is falling. His experience of being found is quite different from an intrepid 14 year old who is running away from home, and has no clue of the real dangers he faces. When he is found he may resent the search and not at all desire to be found.
A co-worker comes to your desk and says, “We’ve noticed your drinking…” Lost one potentially found. Your husband asks you at breakfast, “Who were you texting last night at 2 a.m.?” Lost one potentially found. Your friend remarks, “Didn’t you say you had to work overtime to make ends meet, and here you are driving a brand new sports car?” Lost one possibly found.
The danger of being lost has more to do with getting there and not realizing it than being there and calling for help. God is ready to come to those who know they’re lost and need his saving help. Thank God, also for those who are willing to ask the challenging questions of us when we are dangerously lost and unaware of it.