"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:8–10 NIV)
I was awash in a sea of three toddlers. Trying to do anything outside the house was an adventure. But one day I decided to brave a trip to the mall to shop for Christmas gifts. As I stood at the register, I asked my children to hold onto mama's jeans. Their tightly clutched fists let me know that they were close. After completing my purchase, I turned around and realized that two-year-old Ryan was nowhere in sight. The three tiny hands clutching my pant leg turned out to be one child holding on with two hands, and the other holding on with one while their brother made his escape.
I buckled the kids in the monster-sized stroller, threw my package underneath, and blasted through the store calling out my two-year-old's name.
"Have you seen my son? He's two. He has brown hair and he's tall for his age. Has anyone seen him?"
Finally an older woman approached me. "Honey, I saw a little boy with brown hair just a few moments ago carrying a really large box out those doors."
Seconds later, I saw him strolling through the mall with his little two-year-old gait, carrying an extra large shoebox. My son wasn't just lost. He had shoplifted a pair of men's shoes in the process.
I scooped up my little lost shoplifter and held him close.
Something had captured my toddler's attention and he wandered. I knew what might have easily happened to him if I had not found him. My love for him meant I'd push that stroller to the ends of the earth, calling his name, until he was safe in my arms.
In his book Amazing Grace, K. W. Osbeck says, "If the New Testament teaches us anything, it teaches us about God's love in searching for lost men. Becoming a Christian in a very real sense is simply putting ourselves in the way of being found by God—to stop running from His loving pursuit."
Maybe you have escaped God. One adventure took you to the next and suddenly you were lost in a crowd, wondering if you'd gone too far.
Stop. Right where you are. Let Him scoop you up.
And that box of things you're carrying—those emotions, mistakes, choices you wish you'd never made—give it to Him. He'll return them to where they rightfully belong as He leads you back home.
Dear Lord, I willingly climb into Your arms. Please accept this box of gathered mistakes and failures. Today I am joyfully found by You, In Jesus' name, Amen.
Allow God's truth to meet you right where you are. A wonderful way to do this is through reading His Word. Our team has unpacked 100 Bible verses for you in our brand new Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living.
You may notice the sections below differ from our normal format. This devotion is a sample of those found in Encouragement for Today. Click here for your copy.
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Stop. Right where you are. Empty your arms of that weight you've been carrying and lift it up to be scooped into your heavenly Father's embrace.
Name one way you have been running. What would it look like to stop?
Imagine God scooping up you as the woman in the parable scooped up her lost coin. Write down God's response to finding you as well as your response to being found by God.
Psalm 145:18–19; Psalm 119:151
Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 by Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.