Lost. It was a summer day. A few of my friends and I decided to spend the morning at the park. We visited. The kids played until lunch time. After a couple hours of play, we called all the kids to load up into the vans so we could go grab a bite to eat. We drove ten minutes or so to the restaurant. When we pulled in I said to another mom, “You have Ellie right?” She did not.
The panic set in. I didn’t speak another word. My intent was focused on one thing – finding my lost child. As I sped and swerved through traffic I prayed over and over for God to be present with her and give me green lights. Finally, I zipped back into the parking lot of the park, slammed on my breaks, threw open my door and ran into the play area. Within moments I found my tearful daughter in the care of a grandmother, waiting for my return.
Ellie was lost, gone, hidden, out of reach. Yet Jesus didn’t come to find misplaced people. Jesus came to save those beyond reach, beyond being found. The word used in Luke 19:10 for lost is apollymi which means:
- to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin
- render useless
- to kill
- to declare that one must be put to death
- metaph. to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell
- to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed
Jesus came to seek and save souls that have been abolished, ruined, rendered useless and given over to eternal misery in hell. Have you ever felt that way? Have you felt ruined, useless and destined for nothing but misery? If you have, good, that’s just where Jesus likes to find us.
Sometimes in life we expect Jesus to swoop down like our fairy godmother to cure our diseases, makes us popular, overhaul our finances, restore our marriages, and basically just fix our problems. That’s just not where He goes looking for people. He goes looking for the addict in the gutter, the wife who can’t bear another lonely night, the mother who has shed all her tears for a lost child, a prostitute who can’t bear to give her body away one more time. When you find yourself at the end of your resources, all your options exhausted and utterly hopeless, that’s when He does His best work.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3). Poor here doesn’t mean behind on the bills or wanting a new outfit. Poor here means,
- lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
- helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
- poor, needy
- lacking in anything
- destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford
Lost and poor. Those are Jesus’ favorite people. Isn’t that a huge relief? We don’t have to be beautiful, successful, well-dressed or well-educated. We don’t even have to be the best bible class teacher or win the Martha Stewart award for good housekeeping. Lost and poor. That’s it.
If you find yourself feeling lost and poor today, I want to leave you with this quote from Sheila Walsh,
“The Shepherd knows where to find you.”