The Lost Sheep
From Luke 15–The Parable of the Lost sheep: (NLT, emphasis mine)
3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
I wonder what it is like to be in the 99%. To never have strayed. To grow up in the church, stay with the flock and always know that God loves you and to always rejoice in that. To always be secure in who you are in God. My husband is in that 99%. Me, on the other hand, well, I am the sheep that strayed. I had no idea of my identity in God. In fact, I felt like the sheep that was lost, except, I felt like no one ever knew I was lost. Especially God. The good shepherd was supposed to come find me. I had given up on hope of God finding me. I went for years believing that I had been given up on. I felt that to be lost is who I was to be. But in the end, God did come to my rescue in my most desperate hour of need. (More on that subject another time).
I have always read the parable of the lost sheep as: a sheep was left behind the flock, the shepherd went and found it, the end. But I was reading this parable the other day and something struck me that I have never read into it before. “there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”
I am in the 1% that strayed away. And it hit me. There has been more rejoicing over me coming back into the arms of the father than those who never have been away at all. In heaven, I have been rejoiced over because I was found! How awesome is that! The scriptures don’t say that it is “good to see ya, glad your back with us,” but rather, the angels in heaven threw a party when I was found. A party was thrown for me. I went from believing that God did not know my name to believing that a party was thrown just for me. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.
So what about you? Where are you on your lost sheep journey? Have you been found or are you waiting on the shepherd?