Last week, my wife and I were hosting a few friends from Connect Group at our house. Since they also have kids we were doing a “build your own pizza night.” I put the pizzas in the oven, set the timer, and immediately my daughter began to ask when we could eat.
After a moment, we heard a noise in the play room and some kids came romping through the kitchen. My wife asked, “Where’s Josie?” We looked in the play room and she wasn’t there. We looked around the house, she wasn’t there. We went upstairs, she wasn’t there. She wasn’t anywhere.
This set off a search that got more and more frantic as the moments ticked by. Soon we were scouring the neighborhood asking every person we saw if they had seen our daughter. At first, I was timidly calling out, but after 10 minutes I was shouting. At first, I didn’t want my neighbors to think we were bad parents or that we didn’t love our kids enough to keep an eye on them. But soon, I couldn’t care less what my neighbors thought. I just wanted my little girl back.
After 15 or 20 minutes of searching, one of our CG members heard Josie in the woods behind a neighbor’s house responding to one of my shouts. When it rains we have a small creek that floods behind our house and she apparently wanted to go see the water. The back door had been open because we were hot from cooking and she slipped out without our knowledge.
Without a doubt, this was the most terrifying 15 minutes of my life. And yet, this is exactly how God pursues people and wants us to pursue people. Jesus said, “46 Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
If we truly understood lostness, how could we not ask every person we encounter. All of us struggle with, “What will they think of me?” But if we truly understood the price that Christ paid, we probably couldn’t care less what people thought.
God sent the Holy Spirit to believers to empower them with the message of the Gospel as the same Holy Spirit draws unbelievers to God. He is our guide to help us find the lost. My daughter was found because I shouted, however, it was my friend from Connect Group who was listening and heard the response. In the same way, we can proclaim the gospel, but not be witness to the results. It’s our job to shout and plead, it is not our job to save. There are times, however, when we are in the right place at the right time, that we get to hear the one who was lost cry out “Daddy!”
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate