Matthew 18:14 – In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (NIV)
I was a problem child. I can remember one winter's night walking home from my aunt's house in the pouring rain. My mom was busy pushing a pram with the baby, and my other two brothers and sister were toddling behind her. I wasn't getting enough attention that evening, so I slipped out of my shoes and began splashing in the puddles. Soon, my socks were wringing wet and soaked through. When my mom noticed what I had done, she was furious and scolded me. "Wait until your father sees this when we get home!" she shouted.
My reaction? I immediately ran away from her and hid out of sight. She kept calling for me, but I was as stubborn as a mule. Eventually, she went home with my siblings and I was left on my own.
My hiding place was the front porch of the local rent office. Because it was cold and wet, everyone was indoors, and the whole street was quiet. I was feeling miserable and also scared of the dark. I wanted to go home, but my pride wouldn't let me. I must have stayed there for about an hour, shivering and brooding.
And then I heard my dad calling out my name repeatedly. I recognized his voice instantly, but there was an anxiety attached to it that I had never known before. As his voice got louder and he drew nearer, I felt this sudden urge to jump out and be found by him. He grabbed me quickly and held on to me with all of his strength. I looked up into his face and saw a strange thing. My dad was weeping.
I guess God goes through the same thing each time He finds a lost soul. He isn't willing to lose any one of us, even when we're stubborn and stupid, reckless and rebellious. He embraces us with a love that is both amazing and strong. He weeps for us when we're back in His arms and can be led safely home.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes we lose our way and choose to do things that separate us from You. We hide ourselves and wallow in misery, sin, and pride rather than come back to You. And yet, You never give up on us. You're always seeking ways to find us, reclaim us, and restore us to Your favour and grace. Thank You, Father God, for never letting go of us, even when we lose our grasp of You. In Jesus' name. Amen.