Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One Wandering Sheep

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? Matthew 18:12

I returned Monday from a four-day getaway to Myrtle Beach, SC. I’m exhausted but had a good time with my daughter Lindsay, her husband Jose, my son Josh, and my husband James. Five people in the same hotel room can get dicey at times, but we managed. J

The weather was beautiful, hot, and sunny. I enjoyed walking up and down the beach and wading in the water, but I’m not much of a swimmer or boogey-boarder like my kids. We saw a few jellyfish, which made me even more squeamish about venturing out too far.

We also shopped and ate delicious seafood. Lindsay gave Josh the new book by Duck Dynasty’s Si Robertson, “Si-cology 101” for Josh’s 19th birthday, which happens to be today. (Happy Birthday, Buddy!)

My favorite thing about the beach is how close I feel to God when I’m there. His awesome power is displayed in the crashing waves, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the enormity of the sky when standing on the edge of the continent looking out across what seems like infinite miles of ocean. It was almost as if I could reach out and touch my Creator while I basked in the glow of His Spirit.

One afternoon, Josh rode waves on his boogey-board while I waded and tried to stay upright amidst crashing waves when I ventured out too far. J A rogue wave crashed over him, tossing and churning him and his board. When he regained his footing, his sunglasses and croakies holding them on were gone. We searched and searched, but we might as well have been looking for a particular grain of sand. Disappointed, Josh finally went back to his board. I continued to scan the water and beach hoping to catch a glimpse of his sunglasses.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? Luke 15:8

Josh’s lost sunglasses, the woman’s lost coin, and the shepherd’s lost sheep all have something in common. Their owners frantically searched for something important to them. In the Biblical parables, Jesus likened the search for “lost” things to him seeking out lost souls. While he treasures the saved, his heart grieves for the lost. He’ll knock and knock at the door of their hearts, until they open or choose to slam the deadbolt permanently into place. Then his heart grieves even more. He gave his life as a sacrifice for the lost sheep, yet many are content to graze on the mountainside of eternal damnation, only considering what’s in front of them and not the danger lurking behind the boulders and bushes. Our temporal earthly existence and path to salvation have a short shelf-life. Tragically, some choose to ignore that.

As we go to the Lord in prayer today, take a moment to lift up our President and other world leaders as decisions are made in regards to Syria. The world cannot turn a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons, but wisdom and discernment need to be exercised when seeking a solution. This is something often in short supply in the government. Pray that our leaders will seek God’s will for our country’s involvement in the crisis.

Please join me in lifting up our nation in prayer on this Patriots’ Day and the families of those killed on this day twelve years ago, as well as the families of the Americans killed in the terrorist attack last September 11 in Benghazi, Libya. No matter how much time passes or memories fade in our nation’s psyche, it will never fade for them.

I’ve covered many topics, but I also want to highlight that this is national suicide prevention awareness week. One in four Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. I’ve written extensively about my sister’s mental illness and suicide and these topics in general. These articles, devotions, and blog postings, as well as resource information can be accessed on the Mental Illness page on the top of the blog.

The video I’m sharing is a compilation of songs from a Third Day concert. I pray their message touches you in a special way.

If you have a prayer need, please share it in the comments or e-mail me confidential requests. We have many requests on the list at the top of the blog. These folks appreciate your continued prayers as many battle life-threatening illnesses and family/personal crises.

May God bless each of you with peace this day.


©Laura Hodges Poole

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that God isn't satisfied with the 99 sheep, that He wants us ALL. He searches for us, longing to bestow His love upon us.

    our nation needs His healing love. I pray daily for our nation and our leaders. God have mercy on us.