Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Bringing In The Sheaves"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)
Hurricane Zeta was less than 24 hours away from the small Mississippi town of Lucedale. The people didn't know it yet, but Zeta would bring Katrina-like destruction in the next few days. The town's population rushed to secure their belongings, while, on a major state highway, a car was positioned sideways in the road. To this day, no one knows why. An oncoming 18-wheeler hit the car dead centre, instantly killing the driver of the car. His only passenger, a six-month-old golden retriever named Lucy, leaped out of the mangled vehicle and bounded toward the dense woods along the highway.
Michael Baker, the driver of the ill-positioned vehicle, was 70 years old, the husband of my sister-in-law, Betty. He was a godly man who loved his church and family, a strong man with a gentle touch. The family mourned his loss, influenced, of course, by the COVID-19 restrictions. The church service was a little shorter, the hugs fewer.
As soon as Hurricane Zeta did its damage and left the area, George County coroner, Dee Ann Murrah, and her staff got busy looking for Lucy. They also had a town to clean up, but as Coroner Murrah said, "She's not 'just a dog'." She called Betty and had her send a picture of Lucy to put on social media to aid in the search. For a week in the challenging, dense woods of George County, Coroner Murrah and teams of townspeople searched for Lucy.
Eventually, the group spotted Lucy, alive, but covered with cuts on her body. Coroner Murrah took her home and called the Baker family to tell them the good news. Lucy returned home on Betty's birthday. God is good!
Coroner Murrah stayed heavy on my mind for the next few days. I knew that God wanted me to do something, but I didn't know what. I called her, introduced myself, and thanked her profusely for what she and the town had done. She was very vocal about having been motivated in her search by her Christian faith.
I won't presume to know what Jesus would do, but her actions reminded me of Jesus' teaching about the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine sheep to look for the one that was lost. When we are lost, our Good Shepherd, Jesus, doesn't think of us as "just one". No matter what we have done, He will find us, regardless of how long it takes or whether He has to travel to the pit of hell to bring us back into the light. Are we willing to join His team to aid Him in the search for others?
Psalm 139:7-8 – Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on us. Your love is from everlasting to everlasting. You rescue us from the dark places and lead us in the way everlasting. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.