Then Jesus told them this parable: “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 15:3-32
Have you ever lost a pet, or worse, a child? Years ago, I had the cutest black Shih Tzu. I loved him. We opened the door on the Fourth of July to let him relieve himself, when suddenly the local fireworks show started. In seconds he was gone and we never saw him again. Whenever my youngest child was in Middle School, she decided to go home with a friend without telling me. I was so relieved and angry when I found her.
Something similar happened last night. I’ve had quite a few long days lately, and yesterday was no different. I left for work before 7 am. At lunch I went to Bible Study. I worked late and at 6 pm went to handbell practice for our Christmas Eve midnight service. It was when I was driving home that I received a call from my husband. He’d forgotten that I had practice after work, but wait there was more. He said our 8 1/2 month old kitten, Dominic was missing. I prayed with a friend on the way home. I wasn’t shaken yet, because I know cats can hide sometimes.
When I arrived home, I began calling him shaking his cat treats. He always comes running when I do that, but this time no Dominic. I looked in all his inside hiding places. My husband had been putting up Christmas decorations, and he’d been in the attic. So, we searched the attic. Then, I walked around the yard looking up in the trees and calling him. At this point I noticed my husband’s parents were also searching. He’s never been outside, so I left my husband and my two dogs and set off walking the neighborhood with a flashlight calling him. At this point I was cold and felt helpless. I prayed for his safety with tears flowing. I returned home and looked some more. It was after 9 pm. I was tired, hadn’t started studying yet, and our kitten was gone. My friend and her children joined the search. My husband felt terrible at this point, because Dominic went missing while I was away and he was home. We both sat down in dispair. Then, my husband saw his fluffy tail around the corner. As it turns out, Dominic was under the recliner. He always runs with his tail up. When we found him, he was slinking through the house. We don’t know what happened, but he seems good this morning. Thanks be to God!
This morning I am reminded of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. I left everyone in search of my kitten. When I found Dominic, I notified everyone, rejoicing. Can you imagine how happy our Heavenly Father is when someone who has lost their way finally decides to turn their life around? If you are lost this morning, turn to God. He’s waiting.
God bless you.