It’s a mother’s nightmare for their child to go missing, and a feeling I never want to experience again.
Matt was four, Danielle was six, and we were at the mall’s pet store. A clerk placed a puppy in my hands, which I coddled, showed my daughter, and then turned around to show to my son. But in those few seconds, he had slipped away—it happened so fast.
The store clerks offered to check the back room. No result.
My. Son. Was. Gone!
“Maybe he went to the gaming center.”
“But he’s four…”
I knew he must be very frightened.
Holding back panic, I called to every passerby, showing them a photo, “Have you seen this four-year-old boy?”
Heads shook, “No.”
A father-mother-daughter team offered to help. The daughter searched the mall on foot, running first towards the security booth, carrying the photo I’d been sharing. Meanwhile, the father and mother checked the restrooms and parking lot, and being Christians, they offered prayer which I gladly accepted.
Twenty grueling minutes later, the daughter came back saying she’d located my son and as soon as he went through security checks, they’d bring him to me.
After what felt like an eternity, the security guard brought Matt, holding a stuffed puppy, tears streaming down his face. We could not embrace him enough!
I asked Matt to tell his story. He had been looking at the puppies playing in the window display, which I’m assuming led him outside as it was a glass enclosure on three sides. When he lost sight of me, he started to run. The farther away he got, the faster he ran.
Although this incident took less than an hour to resolve, it is etched in our memories forever. We were glad Matt came back to us safely.
So when they saw Him [Jesus], they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”~Luke 2:48-49 NKJV
In Luke chapter two, we read an account of Joseph and Mary losing their Son. By this time, Jesus is interested in learning the Torah, and stays behind, assuming His mother and adoptive dad will know where He’s gone. Days later, when His parents find Him, He tells them He is ready to do His heavenly Father’s business.
Jesus Christ, even at the tender age of twelve, relates to how devastating it is to be spiritually lost, and He’s determined to carry out His mission to die to pay sin’s price, and to raise again victorious over death, Hell, and the grave. He is not concerned about His own comfort—rather He accepts His responsibility to save us.
Jesus Christ understands the lost soul’s need to be found.
Oh, what a Savior! Jesus proves His compassion when He calls the despised and outcast tax collector, Zacchaeus, saying He will sup with him, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). Jesus tells the parable of the shepherd who searches for a single lost sheep even though he has ninety-nine who are found. He restores the woman caught in adultery, heals the blind, embraces the leper, and so much more…
Friend, as we celebrate Christmas, let’s consider the cost of the Savior’s love. Jesus Christ came as a babe, felt humanity’s pain, and offered us the greatest gift—soul salvation. Let our mission be to help others discover that they don’t have to be lost—they can be found in Him.
Have you told the greatest lost-found story of all times, recently?
Heavenly Father, use me to tell my Savior’s story, that lost souls may be found.
Copyright 2021: Lost & Found: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
Published: December 2021: Inspire a Fire: Senior Editor Martin Wiles; Executive Editor Cindy Sproles