I’ve always considered myself a bit of a right brain/left brain person. I will balance your checkbook and then write a poem about it! Well, it’s that math nerd part of me that read and questioned this scripture, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?“
Those numbers just don’t add up, Jesus. Why would you risk 99 sheep for one sheep? I just never quite understood this.
Then the unthinkable happened to me. I lost one of my sheep. My youngest daughter was taken from us in a terrible bus accident. Though I had a husband and three other daughters that I love very much, all I could think about was the one who was lost. My sorrow consumed me. I couldn’t go to sleep for thinking of her and longing for her. She was the first thing on my mind as I awoke in the morning. I didn’t want to wake up because I didn’t want to face reality again each day. She consumed my every waking moment and never left my thoughts. I would have done anything to hold her in my arms again. I even asked God to please take me Home. The pain was too great. I wanted to leave the 99 and go find the one who was lost.
The next time I read this scripture I had new eyes. I understood better what Jesus was talking about. I felt the longing He has for us when we are lost. My eyes saw His children differently. His love for even the most undesirable captured me. This is the Savior that pursues you today. He longs for your company. He is consumed with love for you. He would do anything to have you back and keep you. He hurts deep inside when we leave His fold. His joy is connected to you, His child. We are on His mind day and night.
“And if he finds this sheep, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in Heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”
I would have done anything to keep her in my arms. I would do anything for a friend not to have to endure this great sorrow. What would the King of Heaven do to hold His children?
This Jesus, our Lord and Savior, pursues us. He woos us and draws us near. He longs to be with us for eternity. He rejoices in us. He died a brutal death to seal our salvation. I don’t understand it or deserve it, but isn’t that what makes true love so amazing? Love is a gift from the heart. Jesus holds His out to you.
Precious little sheep, come into His fold, and be blessed.
(Matthew 18, Luke 15)