May 29, 2023

Paulina De La Fuente
"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 this 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? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
Luke 15:1-7

When was a time that you were in great need of God? It may have been when you first came to know Him, or when you found yourself in a pattern of sin or walking away from God, or maybe it was during recent difficult times you have faced. Even though the truth is that we need God constantly, there seem to be pressurized times in our lives where we feel (or maybe are just willing to admit) our great need for Him, a desperate need for God to show up mightily, carry us through, to do His work in our lives.

No matter what it was that got you there, how did you respond to God? How did you perceive His response to you? The part that strikes me from these verses is how Jesus describes the shepherd’s response: “he joyfully puts it on his shoulders,” takes it home, “calls his friends and neighbors together,” and rejoices! I don’t know about you, but I personally haven’t gone directly to sensing God rejoicing at times when He has found me in lost and needy places. Instead, I can often be like the prodigal son later on in Luke 15, who makes a behavior modification plan in an attempt to win back his father’s favor (Luke 15:18-19).

What a God and Good Shepherd we have that seeks us out, is always capable of finding us in our darkest places, always willing to receive us back, and always rejoicing as He carries us home. Thank you, Jesus!