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“Remember that one time when we were shopping and you lost Chase?”

My kids are so generous to remind me of this stuff.

They were 8, 7, 4, and 2 and it was two days before Christmas. I know, I know… December 23rd is not the day to power shop with four little ones. But I longed to buy their daddy something special, so I put all better judgment aside and out we went.

The crowds were nearly unmanageable. The line to the checkout alone wrapped around the perimeter of the store and must have been twenty people deep. What was I thinking? But we were there and I was determined to not go home empty-handed, so we ventured into the crazy with the baby strapped in the cart and three boys firmly instructed to stay close by my side.

One moment I could feel his little body against my leg; the next moment, he was gone. In a sea of never-ending people, clothes racks, and holiday end-caps, we searched for what seemed like forever. Nothing. We called out his name… a little louder with each attempt. Nothing. We walked – and then began running in desperation – looking high and low in every possible hiding place the store afforded. He was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes had passed, other shoppers and store attendants began noticing our plight and began spreading out the search, simultaneously covering multiple departments and blocking doorways as they looked for a brown-eyed, blond-haired, adventurous four year old who ironically just happened to be wearing his favorite Superman shirt that day.

You guys, I would have done anything in that moment to get my boy back. A mama’s love is fierce in the day-to-day, but when one of your own goes missing, the depth of that love is exposed and you go to extreme lengths to ensure his safe return.

You don’t stop.

You won’t quit.

You never give up…

…until the one you love is back safely in your arms.

David may have started out as a forgotten shepherd, but through the beauty of Scripture God uses his purpose-filled life to point us to a better Shepherd who was to come: the Great Shepherd who never stops pursuing His people.

“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…”  “And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” – Ezekiel 34:15-16, 31

This Shepherd was on a mission even fiercer than that of a desperate mother looking for her lost child. He would come in the humblest of ways – so opposite of everything the world expected – to lay down His life to rescue His sheep: the ones who were lost; the ones who had strayed; the ones who were injured and weak. And still today, in His great love, God never stops passionately pursuing His own…

He searches for the lost.

He brings back the strayed.

He rescues them.

He gathers them safely in His arms.

He feeds them with good pasture.

He binds up the injured.

He strengthens the weak.

He gives them rest.

He doesn’t stop. He won’t quit. He never gives up… until the ones He loves are safely back in His arms.

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After a few short minutes (that felt more like hours), I turned the corner and there he was. He was scared, confused, crying, and alone. As I scooped him up in my arms, with tears streaming down his face he buried his head in my chest and whispered, “I never want to leave you again.”

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Are you feeling lost, scared, confused, or alone today? True peace, identity, and purpose can only be found in Christ. Run into the arms of your Great Shepherd, who longs to welcome you back into the fold.

He is God, and He loves like no other.

 

At His feet,
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*Let’s Talk: What characteristic of God mentioned in today’s verses means the most to you? Would you thank Him for who He is in the comments today?

 

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Week 1- When You’re Not The First Choice…

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