My husband and I had gone on a road trip to surprise my family with a visit. We received word that one of our dogs, Neika, had gone missing during our last vacation day. Neika had been at my in-law’s farm multiple times throughout the year, and she’d not once wandered off.
“Let’s go get brunch. Neika will turn up!” My husband’s voice held uncertainty, but I knew he was trying to remain positive for me. Reluctantly, I agreed to brunch, but stress made it unbearable to eat.
I returned to the hotel to pack my belongings and spent the rest of the day trying to ease my mind about Neika. We received updates from my in-laws that a search party had spread out over their farm, yet no one had seen her whereabouts. I felt my stomach begin to dip into a twisted, anxious ache. Where could she be? I felt my husband’s hand on my shoulder, and tears began to spill. My heart broke at the thought of Neika being out in the dark all alone, lost and confused.
As the hours slowly slipped by, I frantically posted lost pet alert posters until thousands of people saw her face. I’d done everything I could to find Neika; now, all I could do was hope and pray for a miracle.
In the morning, I woke up to multiple messages and comments on social media filled with love and encouragement. People were looking, and friends and family were praying! Later that afternoon, my in-laws called with an update; Neika had been found safe and sound! Besides a filthy appearance and a hungry stomach, Neika was a happy girl! Relief flooded my body as I cried tears of joy at her return.
Finding the Lost
After such a frightening encounter, I was reminded of a parable; that of the lost sheep. Jesus speaks of a Shepherd (God) who discovers that one of His sheep is missing. Once the 99 sheep are counted, the Shepherd goes out to look for the one. He does not rest until it is found, and only then does He rejoice once it is safely returned.
We have a Heavenly Father who tirelessly looks for His lost “sheep.” Despite moments where we stray, our Father continues to search tirelessly until we have returned. It’s an incredible feeling to know that no matter where we may find ourselves, Christ will never give up on us and will only rejoice when we are safely home.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:12-14, NIV).
Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.