Matthew 18:12 New Living Translation (NLT)
Parable of the Lost Sheep
12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?
I have been the One. I have lost my way. I have needed to be rescued. I have been in a prison of my own making. I have spent time in the pig sty, and it is something I have never forgotten. But there is no "too far" with God. He's not afraid of the pig sty. Or the dark. Or your circumstances. His love for you is unfathomable. And he will move the mountains to get to you. There is no length he won't go to rescue you. I've seen it. I've felt it. There are others like me out there right now, and they have been on my mind. If I could talk to them, what would I say?
For the One who feels lost. Somewhere along the way, you stumbled off the path. Now you're in a situation you never thought you'd be in. You feel hopeless, unworthy, and alone. You have burned your bridges, and all you have left is the ashes of a life you used to have. Let me tell you, I know first-hand what God can do with ashes. There is hope in those embers. He can rekindle the fire that once burned within you. You don't have to stay where you are. The Father offers new life. A different path. He is not looking at you with scorn and disappointment. He is looking at you with compassion and devotion. He is devoted to you. He has gone to hell and back for you. You don't have to sit in the rubble of a ruined life. Let Him rescue you.
For the One who ran away. You had your reasons. Disappointments. Doubts. The answers to your questions never came. Now you're in some kind of no man's land. Stuck between disbelief and faith. There is no void that God can't cross. Your doubts and questions are no surprise to Him. He's not angry that you have them. He didn't create you as a robot. He created you with a free will and a mind. You don't have to run away. Run to Him. We are meant to be in communion with Him. He knows us as no one else knows us. He understands the struggle with your faith because he knows your heart. There is no cliche answer here. When your faith takes a hit, it can take some time to recover. But you are not alone in your struggle. He is with you, even in the fires of doubt.
For the One who was thrown away. Your pain is real, and your hurt is deep. The Body of Christ failed you. As a Follower of Christ, this breaks my heart. I ask forgiveness for our failure. We must do better. For whatever reason, you were marginalized and made to feel "less than," the Truth is that God extends his grace and mercy to all. He did not pick and choose which of us were worthy. We all fall short of that mark. He has a place at the table for you. His love for you knows no bounds. He knows what it's like to be on the outside. He was rejected, mocked, and betrayed. He knows that pain. His people have failed you, but He won't. He wants to wrap his arms around you and wipe the tears from your eyes. He loves you with an everlasting love. A love that will not fade. Unconditional. Unwavering. No exceptions.
For the One in the dark. For the One that feels alone. For the One that is running, angry, and disillusioned. For the searching. For the defiant. For the One who has felt left behind. Unimportant. Unloved. Misunderstood. For the One filled with sorrow. For the heartbroken. The wounded. The dying.
I would tell you about a reckless love. I would tell you about a love that is fearless. Unstoppable. A love that would reach across space and time. A love that knows your name. I would tell you about a love that cannot be tamed. A love that died for you. A love that will never fail you. I would tell you about Jesus. For him, you are the One.