This Day In History: 0000-05-28

May 28 – Luke 15: 3-7

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

I have to confess to you that I’m not always very quick to have this attitude.  In fact, it’s a real struggle for me.  I would much rather rejoice over the 99 “sheep” that never strayed than throw a party for the one that God rescued and brought back into the fold.  Why should I have to celebrate something that should never have happened in the first place?

But the answer to that question is simple, and it’s very convicting to me: Because God does.  The Bible says there is MORE rejoicing in heaven over one that has wandered and returned than over all the others who have remained faithful.

But I think what’s really at the heart of this struggle for me is pride.  You see, I think that I’m one of the faithful.  I’m proud that I’m one of the faithful.  I think it’s better to be like me – one of the faithful, than to be like those lesser wandering sheep.  So then, I question why God is celebrating them and not me.  What a pity it is that I think that way!  Can you relate, or am I alone?

The truth is, though, we’re all prone to wander.  Every one of us!  I stray from the safety of my Shepherd’s side far too often!  My wanderings may not lead me as far away as others.  I may be a little better at staying away from obvious danger, but any place that’s not at the side of the Shepherd is a place of vulnerability and danger! Rather than responding in pride to others, I should be rejoicing in the fact that my God is so faithful in pursuing all those who stray.  Me included!

Let’s do that today! Let’s thank God that He is such a good Shepherd!  Let’s confess our propensity to wander and praise Him for always coming after us!  What a blessing it is to be pursued so relentlessly by our Lord!  Let’s really reflect on the fact that each and every time He finds us and brings us home there is unspeakable joy in the heavenly places!  If there is nothing else that can convince us that we are precious to Him, let it be that!  His love is so fierce that He finds great pleasure in our presence at His side, and will always come after us when we’re not there!  What love!