In Luke chapter 15, Jesus is questioned about eating with tax collectors and sinners. He responds by telling them a parable in three parts. There are so many ways to apply the truth of this passage, but I want to use them as descriptions of my spiritual walk.
Jesus begins by talking about a lost sheep. Many of us know what it is like to leave the herd. We set out on our own and suddenly discovered we were all alone and needed help. We cried out, and it seemed like no one heard our pleas for assistance.
The second part of the parable is about a lost coin. Each coin has value to its owner, but one is lost. Those are times when I knew God loved me, yet I chose to do the wrong thing. My decisions led me away from God, and soon I was lost.
The final story is often labeled as the prodigal son. A boy leaves home and his family behind. In my immediate family, I left home at 18 and have never returned for more than a few short weeks. My life has led me away from my family and out into the unknown. I have often made poor choices, ended up alone, and needed divine help.
In the song “Come Thou Fount,” one line says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
That is the story of my life, and the good news is that God is like a good shepherd who seeks his sheep. He is like a frantic woman searching in every crack for her coin. God is like a loving father waiting patiently for his children to come home. There he greets us with open arms and forgiveness.
Like many others, the parable of Luke 15 reminds me that even when I am lost, God still cares. He is still pursuing me to be a part of his family.
Many mornings, I wake up with this feeling that I am lost. I feel alone and unsure of which step to take next. Where will I find the help and direction I need to make it through another day? ON days like that, I remind myself that God is always pursuing me in his love. It doesn’t matter how I feel; the truth is that my life has value to God. Yours too.