February 1 | LUKE 15:1-7
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Lost and Found
by Mary Kate Hipp
This past week I went on quite the adventure to New York City. You see, I am preparing to study abroad in Israel for a semester and I had to make a trip to the NYC Israeli consulate to obtain my student visa. As you can imagine, this process was extremely difficult between COVID and foreign government policies. To spare you the details, for many seemingly "unfair" reasons, the consulate was refusing to give me my visa. Without my visa, I could not study abroad. I was in tears wandering around the big apple, feeling defeated because I didn't have my visa. I felt like I had lost. Now, this was a different kind of loss than what Jesus was describing in the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 but stay with me for a second.
After this loss, I called just about everyone I could and posted on all my social media platforms asking for prayer and wandered around the city praying with every step I took that somehow I would "find" my visa. After a good night's sleep, I marched back over to the consulate the next day and to my surprise, the kind workers decided they would in fact grant me my visa (by the time you're reading this, I've begun my first day of classes IN Israel!). I was elated! I called everyone I knew to tell them of what God had done, I legitimately danced in the middle of 43rd street, I shouted 'praise God!' all the way back to my hotel, all because I had "found" my visa.
Verses 5-6 tells of the shepherd "joyfully" putting the found sheep on his shoulder and calling all of his friends so that they might celebrate with him over having found this once lost sheep. Now as I read this passage, I could not help but imagine my grand celebration upon receiving my student visa and how I called everyone I knew so that they could celebrate with me too. If I could get so excited about finding what I had once lost, I cannot even imagine the celebration the Lord has over finding His lost sheep! The shepherd left everything, despite his possible feelings of defeat and fear to find his beloved lost sheep. When he finally found the sheep he could not help but rejoice and be joyful and celebrate with all his friends.
So, friends, how much more does God rejoice over us when He "finds" us? Praise God that He "finds" us over and over again. Praise God that He rejoices over us even after we have been lost. Praise God that we can repent.
Spend time praising God for how He has found you. Humbly repent for the ways in which you have "lost" sight of Him. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins to He who is faithful and just He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Imagine the joy in heaven over your repentance that Jesus speaks of in Luke 15!