My Child Was Lost and is Found

The news of the recovery of fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart from the clutches of her kidnapper a few days away brought joy to all who heard it. The news that she was alive was so unexpected and startling, that when I heard it my mouth literally dropped open in amazement. “They found her! Alive? Really?” It was unbelievable. We are truly happy for the safe return of Elizabeth to her family.

One striking thing that caught our attention throughout this terrible ordeal for the Smart family was the fact that they never gave up hope. They expected her to return, to be found alive and come back home. We admire their resolve even in the face of bleak circumstances.

It reminds us of the story of another child. He was not kidnapped; he freely left home. He was not threatened and manipulated; he chose his course of action. Although free to act, he became bound by a power greater than an abductor: sin. And, I believe it is safe to say that his father never gave up hope that one day he would return home.

Of course, we speak of the lost son in Jesus’ parable, Luke 15:11-32. Leaving the grace and blessings of his father, this son demanded his inheritance and traveled to a country far removed from home where he “wasted his possessions with prodigal (“wasteful,” jrp) living” (Lk. 15:13). Finally, “he came to himself” and returned to his father seeking mercy as a servant in his father’s house. Instead, the father, with great compassion and love, rejoiced and celebrated his return: his son “was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Lk. 15:24).

If you are lost in sin you can go God and there find mercy and the joy of heavenly celebration. God has not given up on you. He has sent His Son to live and die, to arise from the dead and ascend to heaven. He has given us all a word of truth, which is able to save the soul. Through His gospel He calls you home. If you are lost, be found today. (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 5:6-11; 6:16-18; 1:16; Mk. 16:15-16). — Joe R. Price

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