Our house sits in the middle of some fairly dense woods. We call it “The Homestead” and with five children, it’s offered up a haven for every kind of fort building activities you can imagine over the years. One afternoon, our son called to me, “Mom, we can’t find Emma. She was just here.”
She’s my baby, our fifth child, so I didn’t bat an eye. Children hide and I assured him of that reality, but then one minute led to two and two to ten, and in the span of those brief six hundred seconds, my heart expanded with love, desperation, and heartache in ways I didn’t know possible. You see, there’s a creek that runs beyond our property and while she’d never wandered that far before, my mind immediately went to the possibility of what might happen if I didn’t bring her home first. I never knew my legs could run so fast.
With dogged determination, I pursued, chased, shouted, cried, examined every inch of our woods, and inevitably threw myself in a bit of full blown panic for good measure. I would not stop until she was found.
Is your heartbeat rising as you read this? Do you understand the emotions of that pursuit? You’ve probably been there before.
We finally found her. She was hiding. As a game, she’d chosen to conceal herself amidst the thick foliage and refused to answer us when we called. This momma was not a happy camper, but when I found her, when her precious face met mine, her sin, her foolish choice did not matter one bit to me in the moment. And while there were later consequences in hopes she would not consider that choice again, the relief I experienced and my love for her only knew one thing: my momma’s heart would have done anything necessary to find her and bring her home.
As I read the parables in Luke 15, I’m reminded that God loves us so desperately that no matter what our past choices, He will storm the gates of heaven and never stop looking until He finds us. He will rejoice, celebrate and welcome us with a fierce intensity.
It’s nearly impossible to wrap my mind around the reality that my desperate longing to find our daughter was only a small microcosm in comparison to His pursuit and desire to belong with us. The enormity of how He loves us, protects us, pursues, welcomes, and seeks us out are so much more than we can imagine.
In the story of the one lost sheep we’re reminded of this:
What man among you, who has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep.”
Luke 15:4–6 (CSB)
Are we willing to leave our comfort and complacency to create new community? What would it look like if we pursued and sought out just one struggling woman this week? Who needs to be showered with our tangible love and attention? Christ’s abundance in our lives is astonishing, and we all desire to be on the receiving end of His love, but today, let’s walk out that love and live in response to who He is in our lives.
Pursue, seek, welcome, invite, initiate: these fleshed-out actions reflect the heart of the gospel. As we allow our love to be a natural overflow of His presence and great love for us, we are granted the opportunity to be part of His divine plan in making God known.
Can you even believe that? What an honor. Let’s walk it out today.
God will storm the gates of heaven and never stop looking until He finds us. - @beautyandbedlam: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Sometimes I forget that God’s love can be fierce, furious even in His pursuit of us. I am so thankful that He comes after me with such dogged determination. What I do lose sight of, however, is that He may be wanting to use me in His pursuit of one of His lost sheep. I may be the arms, the legs, the feet, the hands, the mouth that brings His love to one who is lost. Thank you for bringing that reminder home this morning.
Jen Schmidt says
Yes, Bev – that dogged determination gets me every time. Oh to be the benefactors of such love is astounding.
Michele Morin says
This is beautiful Kingdom-work you are describing here, Jen, and I think those of us who have been “found” for a long time can easily forget how lost we once were. So thankful for the steadfast love of our pursuing God.
Oh yes, Michelle – I’m joining with you in that gratitude of His steadfast love.
To have been pursued by someone as amazing as God! How lucky are we?! Thank you for this wonderful reminder to pass on His love, the same that He has shown me to others. I know we are to do this already but with busy schedules, our own anxieties, children, washing, paying bills etc remembering to help those who may need to feel God’s love just as much as I do well that’s what’s important! Thank you for this important reminder!
Yes, we all need that reminder. Oh to pursue others with just a hint of the amazing way He pursues us.
I needed to hear this. In the past Ive made so many mistakes and wrong decisions that I have wondered if God would take me back and now I know he never stopped looking. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you.
Nothing we can do or say will ever have Him turn His back on us. Isn’t that amazing how He loves us so?
Yes it is amazing how much God loves us. He is an Awesome God. May God bless you Jen.
This is such an encouragement to me. My son is still an unbeliever and it hurts me deeply. Trusting in the Good Shepherd helps.
Jen Schmidt says
Maria – I know that pain must run so deep because there’s nothing our momma hearts want more than for our children to be walking with Him. I will be praying for you and your son this week.
Beth Williams says
This reminds me of story in Luke 7 about a sinful woman “I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Jesus is saying He who is forgiven much loves much, but he who is forgiven little loves little. We must remember how much we have been forgiven. He saved us from eternal damnation. No matter what is in our past-he still loves & pursues us like a mama looking for a lost child! We must never ever get complacent with our lives. We should remember to take every opportunity to show this sin sick world God’s love. I believe we are living in the ends times. Now is the time to go & make disciples & bring everyone to Heaven with us!
Jen Schmidt says
Yes Beth – that story in Luke is so powerful! It’s easy to get complacent. I’ve struggled with that and it’s these reminders that overwhelm me . He loves us so much.
Reminds me of that song “Reckless Love”. God’s love is not reckless but he will pursue us recklessly in order for us to turn our hearts towards him. So many times, I had asked myself why do you keep pursuing me Lord? I am no one special with no talent and I continue to fail you miserably. It is in these times that I hear His voice the loudest telling me that I am worthy to be pursued and that no matter what I had done, I am a child of His. I simply needed to turn around and head home. When I dwell on this, I am filled with so much love for Him, of how He had taught me what the true definition of what unconditional love is. Thank you Lord for running after me every single time I deter from the path that You have set for me. Your plans are always better than mine even when I try to convince You that I know me better. Thank you for this message. I needed it today..
Jen Schmidt says
You are so welcome. Yes, we all need to listen to that voice because His plans are always better. He is always good and will never stop pursuing us. 🙂 You are so worth it!
THANKYOU for Hope! I have saved this post to my desktop to remind me ” The Good Shepherd is still seeking my daughter who has walked away from God after accepting Him years ago”
Jen Schmidt says
I will be remembering to pray for your daughter this week. That she may be drawn back to HIs unwavering love.
. Oh dear sister..THANKYOU!! I told a friend over coffee today how God blest me by your email to me.. We know not each other personally but isn’t it neat , we may someday meet as sisters in Heaven.. I was so thrilled to see an ‘author’ take time to reply … The Lord multiply and Bless your ministry and you Jenn.✝⚓️
God is already working in her life , last night she was at her wits end with her job and kids… He is ruffling her feathers Showing her ..she is not always able to control.. Keep praying.
Thank you for the update on your daughter. I will be praying for her as soon as I stop typing. And yes, even though we don’t know each other personally, we are definitely sisters in Him. xoxox
Oh ..dear sister …bless you…my heart rejoices at your concern for our dateughter . God is using you . I thank YOU and Him
Nancy Ruegg says
When I read your statement about seeking out just one struggling woman, a name popped into my head. I’ve just become acquainted with her recently; she said we should meet for coffee. God is using your post to nudge me into action, Jen. I need to make that date!
YEs!! That one name that popped into your head will probably be so thrilled you reached out to her.
Karen M. Miller says
Thank you for the Bible Study, Just Open the Door. It is really hitting home with our women. I’m so glad the Lord led us to it; the timing of it has been just right as we were seeing the need to shift our church culture, developing relationships and putting greater emphasis on reaching people in our local community.
I can’t begin to tell you what it means that you shared this with me. I’ve prayed for the last year about this study knowing that He would bring it to the exact women who desire to dig deeper into loving God and others. Thank you, thank you!! xoxox
Karen Miller says
Our final sessions are coming up, and I know The Uncomfortable Yes is having impact and the video focus on reaching out to those with loss in their lives will open hearts. It led me to ask someone to share to the large group about her ministry to people in an assisted living home. She said yes to God a few years ago and now as a volunteer the Lord has used her to minister His Word and compassion to so many…she, an outsider, is able to love them fully with His love.