For the last year, I’ve been relying on one set of earbuds for all phone conversations and listening to audio tracks during my runs. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that the actual ear pieces fall off pretty easily. Time and again I’ve taken them out of my purse or pocket only to find one earpiece missing. Inevitably, I’d begin the frantic search, rummaging through my bag or stooping down on all fours, scouring the ground for that little black knob.
Every time one falls off, I expect it to be the time I finally lose the earpiece for good. One time, I even flew all the way to Washington State with only one earpiece. I’d figured it fell off while I was on the plane, lost amidst the seats somewhere. I mentally prepared myself to buy a new set.
But to my chagrin, as soon as I got back to Utah, I discovered the earpiece safely hidden amidst the pattern on my rug. It wasn’t until I sat down and felt something squishy beneath me that I even found it.
With the number of times I’ve lost and found the earpieces, it gave me reason to pause… How is it that I haven’t actually lost these for good? How is it that I keep finding it after thinking it’s been lost?
In my mind, it’s been nothing but a little miracle that I haven’t had to buy a new pair. It’s as if there was some magnetic pull, keeping the earpiece in my vicinity… It seemed like there was nothing I could do that would cause that piece to be lost for good… And, in kind of a reverse way, it brought to mind God’s pursuit of us… That no matter how far we run, how deep of a hole we’ve dug for ourselves, or how lost we feel, we’ll always be found by God…
Speaking in a parable, Jesus Himself likened His Father’s love and concern for us to that of a shepherd keeping a mass of sheep…
“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? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” – Matthew 18:12-14
Do we think that we are so far gone in the midst of our own mess that God cannot or will not come after us?
“’Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 23:23-24
God is in constant pursuit of us that He might lavish His love on us and that we might know Him intimately. And once we are found, there is nothing that will separate us from His love…
“…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
And so, I want to remind you that whether you are basking in the sunshine atop the highs of life, or traipsing through the darkest valley, or feeling lost and hidden in your own mess, know that there is One who will always go looking for you, One who won’t give up until you’re found, One who will never forget you…
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; [you] are ever before me.” – Isaiah 49:16
*pc Sarah Coffey