Looking for the sheep that wandered off

Published 3:26 pm Saturday, July 30, 2022

By Ronnie Michel

Ever been around when a child goes missing?

Last summer at a ballpark, my daughter Monique ran up to me and asked, “Have you seen Caroline?”

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I jumped up, put my peanuts on my seat, and joined the search. Caroline was two years old at the time, and the park was bordered by a swimming pool, a field, a canal, and a railroad track.

It seemed like hours; however, it was only a few minutes later when my nephew Justin walked toward Monique carrying Caroline. Justin was near the ballfield farthest from the one Caroline disappeared from when he spotted her.

“She was standing in line at the concession stand by herself,” he said. “I thought y’all might be looking for her.”

Justin was our MVP that night.

At no time in our search for Caroline did Monique say, “Oh, well, I’ve got two other children.” And had we not found Caroline, I would still be looking. I imagine God feels the same way when one of His children strays from Him. Each one of us is important to Him.

Jesus explained it this way, “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? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish,” Matthew 18:12-14.

God never stops caring about the people who are farthest from Him. And if you, like Caroline, walked away in search of something else, you haven’t gone too far, or been gone too long. Come home.

Ronny can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.