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A Store of Sheep

Yesterday I was this close to losing my dad. In the many bustling aisles of Giant. After church. 

You see, my mom and I were in the medicine aisle and Dad was sent elsewhere. Mom announced our rendezvous point… but he did not hear it. 

For the next ten minutes, we scoured the aisles, giggling at the absurdity of it all; we had a lost dad in the supermarket!

But what made it even crazier was that, not an hour before, our pastor preached on us being lost sheep. Wandering off. Confused and aimless. In desperate need of a Shepherd. 

And no, in case my dad’s reading this, I am not comparing him to a dumb sheep. I’m comparing all of us to dumb sheep (because as my lovely father would point out, he lost me in the very same Giant. And yes, my name was called over the loudspeaker. So embarrassing).

Now, truth be told, my dad was not actually lost. In fact, from his point of view, my mom and I were the lost ones! 

After looking for us for a few minutes, Dad decided to take action: pay for the groceries, take them to the car, and then go back and look for us some more. 

It was then, my mother and I prowling through the check-out section like lions on the hunt, that I spotted my dad casually walking across the store. With one laughter-filled wave and three hasty jaunts through the aisles, we were reunited…

And boy, did we laugh. For the whole drive home. Each detail of our stories adding fuel to the funny fire. 

Now, in full disclosure, I don’t have a clear-cut message or deeper meaning related to this story.

Yes, it was a “coincidence” how the church sermon talked about lost sheep and then we experienced a lost family (just to be clear, it's not a coincidence at all; it was totally God... making those little ironic connections like He often does), but you can read John 10 for yourself. 

In all honesty, I just found this situation so amusing that I had to share it!

That being said, I think I can see a message taking shape… God making a way, as He so often does. 

Which means I have to ask you a question. And I want you to ponder this one for a bit… 

Are you the lost sheep? 

Friends, what’s interesting about this little grocery store snafu is that none of us thought we were lost.

From my and my mom’s viewpoint, Dad was the wanderer. He strayed from his instructed aisle and didn’t come back to us. He was the lost sheep, the lost dad, lost husband. 

But from his perspective, he was not lost. Not one little bit. It was my mom and I. We were the ones that weren’t where we said we’d be. Had traipsed along without any cares in the world. 

Hearing both sides of this story has made me wonder…

How often are we confidently walking through life, feeling invincible and in control… without realizing that we've wandered away from our Heavenly Shepherd? 

We forget that we are as fragile and feeble as lambs.

That we’re walking right into a wolf den.

I know that I do this. Probably more often that I realize. 

I get in a groove–art, writing, blogging, YouTube, church, rinse and repeat–and fail to realize that, in focusing on my successes and capabilities, my eyes have strayed from the Shepherd in front of me. 

When my life starts to revolve around me me me, I tend to forget Him. 

Can you relate? 

And the thing is, when we take our eyes off of Him, listen to the loud voices all around us instead of His still, small one… 

We get into trouble. Find ourselves entrenched in thorns and fear and selfishness and strife and briars and wolf dens. 

But the good thing is that, when we find ourselves lost, we know how we can be found… because our Shepherd knows us by name, and He’s already left the entire flock to rescue us. 

So I ask, as we end today’s post, are you lost?

Behind all the confidence and smiles and put-together-ness, are you wandering, aimless, terrified, drowning in despair? 

If so, you’re not alone. 

Jesus loves you so much that He will leave the ninety-nine to find you (Matt 18:12-14). You're His one, His precious, cherished lost sheep. And truly, you’ve never been lost to Him; all He’s been waiting for is for you to want to be found. 

So call to Him, the Good Shepherd, and watch as He runs to bring you home.


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