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God Loves His Precious Lost Ones

 

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 Silver (October 2014)

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE – I may not have a lot of time for comments this week. I appreciate your patience and understanding! You are welcome to comment, I have appreciated your comments so much this week. Thank you for your love, encouragement, support, prayers and friendship! 🙂

 

I have had to do a lot of thinking since our kitten, Silver, disappeared last Friday (it is currently Tuesday morning, and we have not found him yet) about the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. If you have not read Luke 15 lately, I invite you to check it out at the bottom of this post.

I have never owned sheep. I have never gotten emotionally attached to a sheep. Sheep are not my livelihood. I have never owned a silver coin worth a whole day’s wages. Although I can definitely picture being willing to sweep the whole house and look and look to find a whole day’s paycheck worth of money!  I have not had a prodigal child – yet, at this point.  When I read this passage in light of what has happened in our family in the past week, I understand it on a deeper level now than I did before. I can imagine this chapter including “the parable of the lost kitten.”

When we lose something or someone who is very valuable to us, there are a flood of emotions involved:

  • shock
  • panic
  • grief
  • sadness
  • confusion
  • disbelief
  • determination
  • mourning
  • hope
  • fear
  • maybe sometimes anger
  • maybe sometimes doubt

I have been observing our feelings, thoughts and behavior as we respond to our kitten being lost.

  • We want to DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING to get Silver to come back. We have been willing to get into the storm sewer pipe, go under the house, get filthy dirty, brave poison ivy and all kinds of discomfort if only we can find Silver.
  • No one has to ask us to go try to find Silver. We are motivated by our love for him to search for him tirelessly.
  • We don’t want to sit and wait, do nothing, be apathetic, go out to eat, leave the house, be entertained or go off to work or school – we want to focus on finding Silver. There is a great sense of urgency about what we are doing to try to find Silver.
  • We are willing to spend insane amounts of time, money and resources to get that sweet little kitty back.
  • We don’t love Silver because of anything he does for us. We love him because he is ours. He is a little member of our family and things just are not right without him here.
  • We have been willing to go searching for him at all hours of the day and night.
  • We take a strong flashlight to try to find him at night because it will reveal his location because the light causes his eyes to reflect back a very bright glow that will make him easy to spot.
  • We have been researching how to find lost indoor only cats and want to learn how to understand where he might be hiding and how to best reach him. Apparently, indoor only cats can become very afraid when they get outside. Sometimes they hide in their own yard in silence, not making a sound when their owners call for them. They can hide like this for 2-3 weeks without food. That really surprised me! It is much more difficult to find a displaced cat than it would be to find a cat in our house. A frightened cat is in “survival mode” and often won’t respond to food or an owner’s voice. This means, we could pass within 2 feet of Silver, but if he is in survival mode, he will keep totally still and silent and we will never know he is hiding where he is. This makes the whole search and rescue thing so much more difficult and time consuming if Silver cannot help us find him. Cats can be extremely good at hiding!
  • We have all had a really tough time sleeping since he has been gone. I keep getting up in the middle of the night to go search again outside.
  • We have all cried a lot of tears over our little kitten. We miss him terribly. Our hearts are grieved and broken.
  • We have been united in our efforts, working as a team, tirelessly searching, calling, doing everything we can to try to bring Silver home safely.
  • We know we may have to be very patient and that this process could take weeks, months or longer, but we do not give up.
  • We know that God is sovereign and knows where Silver is – that He can give us wisdom about where to find him and that He can motivate Silver to come back to us or that He could use a person to care for him and bring him back safely to us. Ultimately, we are not in control, but we can rest in God’s sovereignty in this situation.

A kitten is precious and so very valuable to our family. But no kitten is anywhere near as precious as a person. I can’t begin to imagine how much more painful it would be if one of our children were missing, or a family member were missing. I think about those families who endure having a loved one missing for years  – and I cannot fathom the pain they have experienced.

I feel like I have had the honor of experiencing a little taste of the pain, sadness and grief God feels over His precious children who are lost. Of course, He knows where they are, unlike us with Silver. And He knows the future – we don’t know if Silver will return or not. But God feels tremendous loss, grief, pain and sadness over just one of His children who is lost. He wants to use us, His people, to go on a search and rescue mission to find them. How will we respond to those who are lost if we love them the way God does and grieve over them being lost the way He does?

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

  • We will want to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to get these precious people to come back to God. We will be compelled by God’s love, not duty. His Spirit will fill us with His love, His pain and His power. We will be willing to sacrifice our comfort and go into potentially dangerous places in order to find these who are so loved by God.
  • No one has to pressure us to go seek those who are far from Christ, His love gives us powerful motivation and His deep longing and desire to find them.
  • We won’t be very interested in things of this world, entertainment, sitting around waiting, or other activities, our primary focus will be to seek and find the precious lost ones God loves so very much. There will be a great sense of urgency about going to find each person.
  • We will be willing to spend insane amounts of time, money and resources to recover these people for Christ.
  • We love those who are far from Christ because He loves them and He wants them in His arms, not because of anything they do.
  • We will be willing to go searching for them any time God calls us to and any time we can in every circumstance.
  • We shine the Light of the truth of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus into the darkness to illuminate the eyes of the lost and to bring them to Christ, His help, His hope, His provision and His love.
  • Those who are lost and far from Christ may not be able to help us find themselves. They may be stuck in dark places and unable to even call out for help. They may be imprisoned by sin, grief or pain. They may be too weak and afraid to reach out for help. This means, we must go and search for them wherever they may be.
  • May we have the same heart for those who are lost that God does, may they be continually on our hearts and in our thoughts and prayers.
  • We will grieve over the lostness of people and cry tears over them as we pray for God’s Spirit to draw them to Himself.
  • We will be united as believers, as the church, working as a team, tirelessly searching, calling and doing everything we can to bring God’s children home to Him safely.
  • We know we may have to be very patient and that this process will take a long time sometimes – there may be months or years of praying for some of God’s children to come home. We don’t want to ever give up!
  • We don’t know where each lost soul might be, but God knows exactly where they all are. He can give us wisdom about how and where and when to find them. He can also inspire them to cross our paths at work, home, school, the store or anywhere. Oh, that we might be sensitive to God’s Spirit and ready and willing to speak and act whenever He prompts us to reach out in His love to someone. Ultimately, we are not in control. But we can rest in God’s sovereignty.

If you are far from Jesus today – and maybe too weak to even cry out for help – please look to Him. He longs for you to come to Him, to experience His unfathomable love and to know Him. He longs to heal you and to give you a full life here and life with Him in heaven forever. He was willing to make a way for you to return to God, to have peace with Him again. If you would like to have a relationship with Christ, please check out this post.

Lord,

Thank You that You are sovereign. I praise and thank You for all You have done for us in the past, for what You are doing right now and for Your plans for the future. I thank You that You use trials to strengthen, grow, refine, purify and mature us in our faith. Thank You that we can count any trial as pure JOY as we look to You and see what You desire to accomplish and what You might want us to learn and what You may want us to do. Thank You that even our tears and pain are not ever wasted in Your kingdom’s economy. Thank You that You keep Your promises and that You will cause great good to come out of even our most painful trials. May You be greatly glorified in our midst today!

Give us Your heart, Your love and Your compassion for people – all people – especially those we know who don’t know You yet. May You use even this small situation with Silver being missing to draw MANY, MANY of Your children home to Christ. It would all be more than worth it if You will use our little trial for Your greatest glory! Please give us Your love, Your wisdom, Your sense of urgency. Prepare and equip us to be the search and rescue squad that so many billions of people need so very desperately. We are fully Yours. We are willing. We yield ourselves completely in submission to You. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Give us Your power and Your Spirit to accomplish Your will and Your kingdom’s work on earth. Give us Your eyes to see and Your ears to hear. Use us to be Your hands and feet. Send us out to find Your lost sheep, the precious children You love so much that You were willing to do ANYTHING to get them back. THANK YOU for sending Jesus to die on our behalf. Thank You that He came to seek and find those who were lost and to restore us back to our home with You in heaven forever. We love and thank and praise You for who You are, for all that You have done, are doing and will do.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

 

———-

LUKE 19

5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

LUKE 15

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “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? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 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.

The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

21 thoughts on “God Loves His Precious Lost Ones

  1. This is so beautiful, April. It is amazing what we learn through our trials and loss. It puts everything in perspective. This life is about loving people and pointing them towards the Gospel. It’s not about us and our pleasures. We need to be continually seeking “those things which are above…for we are dead and our lives are hid with Christ in God.” Thankfully, He has conquered death. Oh, what a Savior! I will continue to pray that you find your kitten. We lost our favorite cat years ago and it was VERY painful. All death is painful. It isn’t the way it was suppose to be…

  2. April , I am praying that God will’ pull back the curtain’ and reveal your precious lost Silver.. your post today about His lost children was brilliant and so beautiful..the love we all need to save the lost.

  3. April, I am praying for Silver’s safe return to you soon. Our indoor only cat got out through a tear in a window screen we were unaware of. As you mentioned you read online, sometimes they hide very near your home, and don’t come out when called. That is what happened to us. Our cat was hiding the adjacent lot that we had searched several times. He didn’t re-appear for 5 weeks! I truly hope Silver isn’t gone that long, but don’t give up hope. I thought our cat would never come home, but he did.

  4. Hi April, recently I lost money, which was about 15$. I then after that lost books I bought from the thirft store for 12$. It really was upsetting, and getting to me. I really had to pray and look to God for comfort, and also realize why it was happening. I was upset, frustrated, and learned a lot from it. I know its alot of pain to endure wih loosin that cat. I so hope u all find comfort in God through this.

  5. April, you are amazing. It is just like you to take a heartbreaking situation and look for the spiritual lesson in it and make sure God gets the glory. Thank you for being such an inspiration and example. I pray Mr. Silver is found.

  6. Crazy timing on this post. My husband and I had a miscarriage (twins) last week and you are right…we tried EVERYTHING to get to keep our babies, and they didn’t do a single thing to gain our affection. We just loved them and wanted them to be with us so badly. It helps me to understand the depth of TRULY immense sadness God must feel over his thousands of precious children who are lost as well. Maybe that is why God is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). Praying for Silver!

    1. Daisy,,
      Oh no!!!!! My sweet sister! I am SO VERY, VERY sorry to hear about your precious babies. My heart breaks for your pain. I am praying for you and your husband. How I wish I could hug your neck and cry together with you!!

      Thank you for sharing. I pray for God to bring you great comfort and healing.

  7. I’m so sorry that silver has not been found yet. It’s so good though that from your trials you are learning and getting a deeper understanding of Gods heart towards us. I wanted to tell you that my baby sister(who is in her 30s) wandered away from The Lord. Many years have passed. She lives in a different city with an unbelieving husband. Anyway God has sought her out and she was baptised last Sunday. She was Gods precious daughter and he didn’t give up on her. Your post helped me see this situation through a new perspective.

  8. This is wonderful April–and perfectly in character from you. 😉

    The Lord never wastes our time! Hard as it may feel even as we go through some of what He has for us, sometimes there are times of mourning.

    There is something in everything we experience that provides an opportunity to learn and grow closer to Him.

    Those pictures of Silver are too much. 😀 I pray for your comfort and encouragement.

  9. Dear Sister in Christ, I wanted to just share with you that Had you and your family in my prayer, I pray that Silver is safe wherever he might be and that he may find his way back home to you, in Jesus mighty name, amen!

    I also had a question for you: I wanted to ask you if you and your family are a part of the Lord’s Recovery ? I once noticed you suggested a watchman née book-this is why ask.

    May The Lord continue to give you peace and comfort you at this time.

    The Lord be with your Spirit.

    -Karla

    ( thank you fir your posts btw, they truly are a great blessing to man and most importantly it leads everyone to Christ-which is ultimate the main goal. Thank you!

    1. Karla C,
      Thanks so much for your prayers. 🙂

      I am not familiar with the Lord’s Recovery. Would you please tell me a bit about it?

      I’m so glad that the posts are a blessing and encouragement, that is my prayer, to lead and point people to Christ and to exalt Him. 🙂

      Much love!
      April

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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