August 31, 2016
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
I must confess I have never given much real stock to the idea of guardian angels until now. I always thought it was a nice sentiment that sold a lot of pendents and lapel pins. My sources tell me this is exactly what Jesus is talking about here with respect to children—that they have guardian angels and these angels are of the highest rank in the heavens. (They always see the Father’s face) It has me wondering how so many bad things happen to so many children when they have guardian angels. Maybe its the guardian angels who are keeping track of those who do evil to children to make absolutely sure they get their just rewards in the end.
Overall, this text as well as yesterday’s reveal to us the extraordinary level of care God has for people. Said better, persons. God sees persons. Were I herding one hundred sheep through the countryside and only lost one it would seem like a smashing success to me.
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
All of this reminds me of the time several years back when we took our children to Disney World. Near the end of the trip we found ourselves working our way through one of the crowded them parks. We get to the restaurant only to discover we were missing Lily, who would have been six at the time. The most extraordinary sense of panic I have ever experienced swept over me. I immediately and instinctively bolted, running as fast as I could manage to retrace our steps. I ran this way and that way, stretching my neck to look, shouting her name at the top of my lungs over and over again. I couldn’t find her anywhere.
My mind began to race with all the horrific possibilities that could be happening. Had she been abducted? Did she just wander off? What kind of panic must she be feeling now apart from us? It was about that time in the fiasco I remembered I had three other children whom I left behind in search of Lily. Thank God for their mother who had quite sanely stayed behind with them and they too were searching for Lily. Meanwhile I was frantically running through the park, screaming her name and coming to grips with my utter powerlessness and vulnerability in this moment. It must have been the same way Lily felt. After what seemed like an eternity that was probably more like ten minutes a Disney World employee came walking up the way holding our crying baby girl. I don’t think I had ever been so glad to see a child in my entire life. Well, there was also that time we lost Sam at Dollywood, but you get the point. ;0)
And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
I think this may give us glimpse into the heart of God for us—especially when we are lost. Isn’t it profoundly reassuring to know that our God is like this?
Heavenly Father, thank you for seeing us—for seeing me. Thank you for paying attention to each one of us individually as though we were the only one. Thank you for letting us know you are watching over us and should we get lost you are already on our trail. What an amazing God you are. And thank you so much for Jesus, without whom we wouldn’t know such wonderful things about you. It is in his name I pray, Amen.
1. Can you remember a time when you were lost and alone? Get in touch with what that felt like?
2. Did it ever occur to you that the one searching feels the same chaotic urgency to find the lost one as the lost one feels about wanting to be found?
3. Do you really believe this is what God is like? How does this impact your faith?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.