Matt.18:12-13 (VOICE) “…Should the shepherd leave the flock on the hills unguarded to search for the lost sheep? God’s shepherd goes to look for that one lost sheep and when he finds her, he is happier about her return than he is about the 99 who stayed put.”
You need a shepherd and you need a flock. Isa.53:6 “We’re ALL like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him.”(MSG, emphasis added). All of us wander. One minute, we are following and the next minute we see something that is interesting. Then we begin to deviate, and we are not following anymore. We all wander the Bible says, and when we wander, He finds us. When He finds us, He sets us straight; it is called correction. The truth is that it is in every human being to wander off. I do not recall being taught how to wander off. And I am certain no parent teaches their child how to get lost. You do not need to do that. It is in every child [in every human] to wander.
Have you ever gone to a public place with your child and temporarily you could not find your child? What went through your mind, what emotion did you feel? Desperation, right? How many parents would discover that their child is missing and decide to first finish shopping before going to look for the child? Typically, everything will come to a halt until the parent finds that child. Jesus is saying, “When you wander, I stop everything I am doing, and I go in search of you. Until I find you, I am not going to stop. Until I lay hold of you, I am not going to stop.” It is in every human to wander; no wonder God likens us to sheep. I have wandered before. My grandmother used to take me to the market as a little boy and I hated it. She could haggle; I would get upset at the way she haggles and even pity the sellers. But now some things have rubbed off.
As a child, you are always sure you know where the adult is. I am with my grandmother in the market and I am following her, I am keeping track of her movement. Then I see something interesting, but she is still there, right? My attention shifts and I did not know that I had wandered off. Then suddenly, I stop, I cannot find my grandmother. There is confusion in the market. I am crying and calling out to her, “Mama”. Then I see her at a distance shouting, ‘Omo-mi’ [Yoruba phrase meaning: my child]. Finally, we meet and then things progress very quickly to that moment when you meet, and you wish you were still lost. As a parent, when you find the child that wandered off, what is going to happen? If the parent is the typical African parent; that child is going to receive something called “decking”.
While the earthly parent will punish, God never punishes, He disciplines. Ps. 119:67-68 “I used to wander off until you disciplined me. But now I closely follow your Word. You are good, and do only good, teach me your decrees” (emphasis added). “I wandered off and got lost but now I closely follow your Word because the Lord disciplined me” [paraphrased].
Prayer [song]: Thy lovingkindness is better than life (2x). My lips shall praise You, thus will I bless You. I will lift up my hands unto Your Name. I lift my hands up unto Your Name… Amen!