“I Once Was Lost, But Now Am Found”
Do you remember the pictures of missing children that used to be on the sides of milk cartons? Now they are published in weekly mailings nationwide. Have you ever been lost? I am not talking about the casual aimlessness in a car with bad directions. Have you really been lost? I can admit that I have been lost twice in my lifetime.
Years ago as a young teenager, I was once lost in the middle of the woods while squirrel hunting. My father and I along with some friends went early one Monday morning hunting (that is what I get for skipping school that day!). We got into a boat and went up a river several miles upstream to a designated spot to hunt. Each of us went our separate ways with instructions to meet back at the boat at a certain time later that morning. I stayed near the river, while my father went deeper into the woods. At the designated time, everyone arrived at the boat except my father—he was the first to get lost that day. After some time had passed, my younger friend and I decided to look for him. We made two very important mistakes that day of which we learned the hard way—we did not take our guns with us, and neither of us had a compass. Beginning around ten o’clock that morning, we began to search for my father, and soon we realized that we were lost ourselves. My friend’s father found my father just a few hours later, but it was past sunset before they found us. We were lost for half of a day, wandering aimlessly through strange woods. The sheriff had just begun to bring the bloodhounds out after us when they finally found us that evening. I am so thankful that my father made provisions to find me when I was lost!
I was lost a second time, this time much more seriously. I was lost spiritually. When I experimented with sin, I abandoned my God. My sins led me away in rebellion against my Heavenly Father (Isa. 59:1-2). I was lost, wandering aimlessly spiritually through life. “But God commendeth his love toward [me], in that, while [I was yet a sinner], Christ died for [me]” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus came to this world to find me because I was lost (Luke 19:10). He provided the means for me to be saved through the gospel (Rom. 1:16) and the shedding of his blood on Calvary (Heb. 2:9; Acts 22:16; Rev. 1:8). He has provided a straight and narrow path that leads to salvation (Matt. 7:13-14). I am so thankful my Heavenly Father found me when I was lost!
John Newton wrote those infamous words,
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found —was blind, but now I see.
Are you lost? God commands us to teach the saving message of Jesus to those in our world that are lost. Some do not realize they are lost; others are searching but cannot find their way. What if my spiritual soul depended on you finding me? Would I be found, or would I still be lost?