Ever play sardines? It’s one of my favorite games, kind of the reverse of Hide and Go Seek. You have one person who goes hide, and then everyone else playing tries to find that one hider. The game gets its name from what happens when you find the hidden person. Instead of the game simply being over, when you find the person hidden you just pack in and hide right along with them. Sardines!
Again, it’s a great game, and a lot of fun. And part of the joy, of course, is finding a great hiding spot so that it takes the masses a long time to find you. There’s something very entertaining about hearing packs of people wandering by your hiding space, only to never spot you. But no one wants to be hidden forever. The joy of the game is when you’re found, and others start packing in with you. If you’re never found, well, you’re no longer hiding at that point. You’re lost.
In Luke 15 we read some pretty famous stories about things that get lost. There’s a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. They’re well known stories because just about all of us can relate well to them. We all lose things. In fact as we get older, the things we lose seem to be of greater and greater significance, their loss is felt all the more. But that’s not why we read the stories. We read them because in each instance, that which was lost, is found!
In Luke 15 we see that no matter what was lost, no matter how great or how small, someone was looking to find it. They were pursuing it, and would stop at nothing until it was found again. Even in the story of the Lost Son.
That one can seem a little different when you first read it. It can look like the son gets himself lost, and is also the one who finally comes home. But we need to remember the Father in the story. The Father who is looking at great distances, looking in all directions for just a glimpse of his son. The Father knows that his son is hidden, but he won’t stay hidden forever. And as soon as his son turns around to head back to God, the Father comes running to greet him. It’s one of the most powerful images in the Bible. The lost son has been found.
In fact, no matter how hidden this lost son may be, The Father decides to do one better. He will go into the lost world Himself, to pursue any and all of His lost children.
That may be the best news of all. No matter how lost you may feel, no matter how far from God you think you are, He is looking for you. The Father is seeking you, and He will not stop looking until He’s found all of His lost children. If you’re feeling lost, know that there is a God in heaven who is looking for you. All it takes is for you to turn to Him, for just a moment. So that you can see Him running to greet you home!