Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them a parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:1-4)
One Saturday morning my daughter overslept, so I entered her room to awaken her. She was gone, and I panicked. It was probably only an hour or two until she returned, but it seemed like a lifetime. The only thing that mattered was finding her. She wasn’t a lost sheep but a wonderful young teenager and now a delightful woman. She had gone to the hair salon to get her hair highlighted. God knew where she was that morning. He would’ve granted her desire to get her hair highlighted when I didn’t. God understands the heart of a teenager, but I didn’t. I wanted to keep her from growing up.
It’s difficult to comprehend how Jesus’ love can be greater than our own, especially when our children are concerned. But He has more compassion for what we’re going through because he knows and understands every horrible situation we’ve been through. We can’t possibly comprehend the loss and panic God feels when His sheep are really lost. The tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and teachers of the law are His lost sheep, and He constantly pursues them. I’m sure he’s hurt when they mutter that He ate dinner with a sinner, as we are hurt when people gossip about us. But God doesn’t gossip back, yell, storm away, or create a plan to get even. He calmly changes the subject and tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Father God, help me to have love great enough to understand my loved ones and dig deeper into their hearts when I don’t understand. Help me react in love like you do when someone hurts me. If you have a lost sheep that you want me to help, let me hear your request and fulfill it. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.