“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.” Ezekiel 34:15-16
Lost. It has been a long time since I felt the intense power of this word. Recently Amity and Dara and I went on a neighborhood walk to a nearby park. This is a walk that we’ve done numerous times before and the girls are well acquainted with the path that we follow. As we got within a few blocks of the park Dara wanted to go a different way than Amity and I had plotted out. I considered her request and told her she could go the other way and we would meet her there. She stepped off confidently and Amity and I continued on the way we were going.
Within minutes we arrived at the park, but Dara didn’t. We continued to walk on the path Dara should’ve been walking until we returned to the point at which we had separated. Still no Dara. I began to get concerned and Amity and I headed back toward home looking for Dara all the way. We arrived home without seeing Dara. Once inside the house I yelled for her, hoping to find that she had returned home for some reason, but she wasn’t at home either. Amity and I got right into the car to drive back to the park in hopes that she had shown up there and we had just somehow missed connecting with her. As we turned the corner at the end of the street we saw Dara. She was at the corner of the next block, face flushed, crying, obviously panicked and obviously lost.
Once we had Dara safely in the car, we drove over the various routes between my house and the park. We talked about the importance of not panicking when you feel lost. She sobbed out “Grandma, why did you let me do it – why did you let me walk alone?” I
explained to her that I thought she was ready to walk on her own and that I wouldn’t
let her walk alone again until both she and I agree that she is ready. I also assured her that the whole time she was looking for me and my house, I was looking for her. I loved it that she said back to me “I knew you were looking for me Grandma!”
Dara was confident about her choice to go alone on a different way, but when she encountered the buzzing activity of bees upon her path she lost confidence and turned back. With each step on a different way things seemed less and less familiar until she felt as if she was transported to a place she didn’t know at all. In her panic her understanding clouded and she found nothing familiar and no one to help. Her racing legs covered a lot of territory, but she might as well have been in a different city for no landmarks appeared to guide her way. She truly believed she was lost forever.
When I heard Dara’s “Grandma, why did you let me go?” it resonated to the depths of my soul. So many times I’ve wandered headstrong down my own path and the Lord has freely
allowed me to go the way I chose. When I look around and realize how lost I am, He is there waiting for me to come crying back to Him. All the time I wander He earnestly seeks me – what a comfort that is to me.
“Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”