Not too long ago I thought my baby girl was gone.
I had fallen asleep on the couch and when I woke, my husband had already gone to bed. So I turned off the tv and headed downstairs. I looked in on the little girls and realized very quickly that Bella was not in her bed. It startled me, but I figured she had climbed into bed with her sister which she does rather often. As I got closer, I could see that Emma was sleeping soundly…alone. Now my heart was racing. I checked under both beds, nothing. I ran into our room and felt around my husband, hoping to find her curled up with her daddy. Nada.
At this point, panic set in. I shook my husband awake and informed him our baby was gone. How bout that to wake you from a dead sleep?
I bolted back up the stairs, retracing my steps, checking every door and window along the way finding each one securely locked. I flipped on every light in the house and made sure that the other children were all safe in their beds. It brought me no comfort to find 4 sleeping peacefully because one was still nowhere to be found.
I could hear my husband downstairs checking every possible hiding place, including the dryer. I rushed back through the dining room ready to call 911 when I caught a glimpse of a white blankie. I hit my knees and looked under the table. There was my little Bella, laying on her belly, booty in the air, out like a light.
As I scooped her up all I could do was thank God that she was ok.
After we got her settled back in her own bed, I was obviously wide awake. Who could sleep after an episode like that?! It occurred to me in the wee hours of the morning that during the frantic search, it mattered very little to me that my other kids were all ok. All of my energy was focused on the one that was not. That’s when a very familiar story came to mind.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
(Luke 15:3-7 NIV)
Just as I rejoiced more over finding my “lost sheep”, the heaven’s erupt with praise when a sinner finds their way to Jesus. It’s not that I wasn’t thankful that my other kids were exactly where they were supposed to be, nor do the righteous escape the attention of our Lord. But something unexplainable happens when the lost are found. Feelings of relief, gratitude and exuberance flooded my heart that night. And so it is every single time a child is found by the Father through the act of repentance.