Monday, July 25, 2011

The Wayward Lamb

On a steamy summer's evening, I rummaged through our family van, searching
for a dearly loved stuffed lamb. It had been days since I'd seen my daughter's
favorite stuffy. The van was the last clear memory I had of the wayward lamb. I 
had called the various stores we had visited that week, but none of them had 
seen it. Now, I carefully combed the only possible place it could be. I had 
checked everywhere in the house, the laundry room, the kid's rooms, 
my room, the playroom, under couches and chairs, inside backpacks and 
pretend purses. 

The latest search of the van left me with the same results - nothing. Devastated,
I returned inside and asked my husband for help. We prayed, and he reassured 
me that the lamb would turn up. His nonchalant attitude irritated me. Didn't he 
understand that this was a big deal? Avalon had slept with this lamb since she
was one; we had to find it! 

Seeing my distress worsen (as evidenced by my tears), Jason went to work as 
well, going through things I already had. Then, he bolted up the stairs. What 
had he thought of? He emerged from the kid's bathroom with the little stuffed
lamb. My daughter had placed it in the step stool compartment. Relief rushed
over me like a wave. This time tears of joy rushed down my cheeks. All I could
think was, Thank you, Lord, thank you, Lord

I crept into my daughter's room and placed the lamb beside her in the bed.
She had almost been asleep. Her sleepy eyes took in the sight of her long
lost lamb (a few days is forever to a three year old) and the sweetest smile
I'd ever seen appeared on her lovely little face. 

I thought of the parable Jesus told about the woman who searched her whole
house for a lost coin and the one sheep the shepherd sought after, leaving 
ninety-nine to find the one. I related to the overwhelming joy of finding 
something considered to be precious and irreplaceable. This is how God
feels when we return to and surrender our lives to Him, overwhelmed
with joy and thanksgiving. I am grateful that God loves us so much, that
He not only gave His only Son to save us from eternal separation from Him,
but He also cares enough to help us find our lost stuffed lambs. 

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a 
lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she 
has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with 
me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy 
before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.   Luke 15: 8 - 10, ESV 
(English Standard Version)

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