Lost And Found
Luke 15 is called the Lost and Found chapter by some, which I believe is apt. Let me focus on the first of three parables, about the one sheep that left the flock and wandered away.
3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
At first, this sheep was not caught, but merely distracted by good looking stuff (probably food) somewhere "out of bounds", so to speak. Life was still "good". It wasn't until quite a bit later that it found itself lost, or worse, caught somehow.
And for people it's the same pattern. Just because life is good, or OK, or not bad, doesn't mean I'm fine, no worries. If I'm out of the presence of the Shepherd, and can't hear His voice calling to me, I'm in danger.
I'm in trouble before I know I'm in trouble.
So I need to do everything I can to stay connected with Father God.
But how? How to pursue the Lord if my heart is lusting after other things? (aka idols) I can't. It's impossible on my own. Alas, then I will end up in a thicket or a pit or the mouth of a predator. Alas!
For many, the point of desperation comes when our idols fail us. Too bad we can't see it before then.
But Jesus is a savior here, too! He can and He will save. But the first step is for me to realize I'm in trouble, lost, or caught by my own unhealthy appetites and desires. When this realization comes, call out to Jesus to save.
It's better to call out to the Lord to change our hearts now, before circumstances make it all too evident that we need a savior, because we already need a savior if we're out of the presence of the Shepherd, and can't hear His voice calling to us.