Matthew 18:10-14 NRSV
10 Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
How often do we lose our way in the eyes of the Lord? Often I go about my day busily striving to achieve some earthly goal, without checking in with God to see how he wants me to serve him. Some days I’ve drifted so far from His wishes that I feel completely lost. But I am blessed in that my shepherd is always looking for me — his lost sheep — and all I need to do is turn to him in prayer to reconnect.
‘The Parable of the Lost Sheep’ shows us that God is continually seeking us, going out of His way to find us when we drift far from the flock, and rejoicing when He finally does find us. How blessed we are to have a loving Father who will not abandon us when we walk away from Him!
God is also calling us to love his other children (“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones;”) and to help them find their way back to Him when they have wandered away (“So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”) There have been times I’ve drifted so far away that I feel the Lord’s gentle hand guiding me back to Him, usually through help I get from one of my brothers or sisters in Christ. I feel He asks me to do the same for others when I see them drifting away from Him too.
What can we do to stay closer to our shepherd, and not wander away in the first place? How can we help other members of His flock from drifting away, or find their way back when they do?
Prayer: Dearest Heavenly Father, thank you for continually seeking me, especially when I lose my way. Please keep reaching for me, even when I do not seek your face. I am so blessed by your gentle hand that guides me through each and every day. Please help me to help my fellow “lost sheep” find their way back to you. Amen.