When my children were teenagers, they were highly annoyed that I always wanted to know where they were, who they were with and what they were doing. I remember once our daughter, Kate, stayed after school for a club meeting without telling us. When she didn’t come home on the bus, I called the school; when there was no answer at the office, my husband drove there. Her name was announced over the intercom and she came to the office, embarrassed and irate. “Where did you think I would be?” she asked. “Well” we told her, “possibly abducted by a serial killer?” We explained that although in that moment she found our concern irritating, it also assured her that if she had car trouble, got lost or truly was abducted, her parents would not waste any time — we would be out looking for her and trying to make sure she was safe. Now, having become a mother herself, she understands.
Part of the Good News is that we all have a parent like that. Jesus is our good shepherd and here’s what He tells us in one of the Parables:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:4-7
Maybe you feel you’ve strayed too far; maybe you’re so lost you’re afraid you can’t find your way home; maybe you think nobody cares. That’s not true. No matter where you are, now matter what you’ve done, the Good Shepherd cares and He’s out looking for you. He loves you and so do I!