My human family, like many others, is very good at mislaying things. And this is particularly true of nanna who lives on the other side of the house. Sometimes it’s her walking stick that mysteriously disappears. Other times it’s her glasses or her hearing aids. And without any one of these things, she’s completely lost. She isn’t “whole” anymore. So the rest of the family joins in a frantic search until the missing item is found. And then it’s smiles and relief all ‘round!
You know, God doesn’t like losing things either, especially humans and the wonders of His creation. Because we’re all very special to Him. We’re both loved and wanted by God, even when we don’t know it. And that’s because we all form a part of God’s family. The Bible tells us that there’s a special place for humans at His table. And if someone wanders off or gets lost, or simply forgets about Him, then the family of God becomes incomplete.
It was like this for the 18th century clergyman, John Newton. Before handing over his life to God, he’d made a good living out of the slave trade. It was his full-blown “career” until several close brushes with death (including a dramatic shipwreck), led him to completely change his life around. Later on, in 1779, after having become a clergyman, he wrote the lyrics to one of the greatest hymns of all time,- “Amazing Grace.” And for many of us, one line stands out over and above the rest:
“I once was lost, but now am found.”
Of course, we are all sinners. Every single one of us. There are times in our lives when we get things wrong, or wander off or rebel against our Creator. But the Gospels tell us that God’s love and grace is so great, that we will always be welcomed back into the fold if we truly regret what we’ve done:
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heavenover one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
So whenever we fall from grace, God’s love and forgiveness are there to serve as our safety net. There’s no point in us going through life weighed down by heavy burdens of guilt and regret. Not when we can simply swallow our pride, hand over our guilt, and offer up our lives to God so that He can use us in His own special way. For God’s love and grace are beyond comprehension. And they are readily available to all of us….
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out….”(Acts 3:19a)