Encouragement for Today - Mar. 10, 2011

March 10, 2011
I Picked Up a Runaway
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst

 “My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.” Jeremiah 50:6 (NIV)          

I picked up a young runaway one afternoon.

She was dirty, wore baggy sweat pants and a yellow sweatshirt, and had muddy feet. I was stopped at an intersection when she sauntered across the street right in front of my car.

I continued on when the light turned green.

But I could not get those bare feet out of my mind. Those muddy, bare feet.

Why was this young girl walking across a busy intersection with no shoes on in the middle of a school day? About a mile down the road I felt the Lord encouraging me to turn around and go find that girl with the bare feet.

It was a gentle, but direct nudge I could not refuse.

I found her several minutes later outside a convenience store with a cup of water in her hand. I pulled up, rolled down my window and said, “Hey, what's going on with you?”

With little emotion she replied, “Oh nothing.”

“Well...what are you doing? Can I take you home?” I offered.

“You can take me to my friend's house,” she answered.

“I'd rather take you home,” I said. “Where do you live?”

“Well, I'm running away from home, so you can't take me there,” she said.

“Oh. Well, I would like to. Where do you live?” I asked again.

She eventually complied and trustingly got in my car. (Oh how my heart was pounding!)

My new friend Sarah was only in 8th grade, skipping school and leaving home because she got into an argument about friends with her parents. She had been gone for two days. The previous night she had slept outside.

I prayed for just the right words to come from my mouth with my fragile but captive audience of one, on the 20-minute ride to her house.

As I dropped Sarah off at her home, I prayed that the Lord would take over from there. I drove off and felt a peace in what He had led me to do that day.

It just so happened that a minor traffic accident had occurred around the corner as I was leaving. So I pulled over and told one of the officers about Sarah, hoping they could also help her in some way.

Find her. Stop her. Detain her. Guide her. Protect her. Save her.

As I prayed for my runaway friend in the days that followed, I realized that she is not much different from you and me. From a place we have journeyed or perhaps a place we are in right now.

Most of us have found ourselves running away at some point in our lives. Running from someone or something. Looking to escape.

Running, yet desperately hoping to be found.

She is lonely. She is angry. She feels betrayed. She feels misunderstood. She feels unloved. She is searching. She is confused. She is bitter. She wants to rest.

Oh my friend, I pray that you will have eyes to see, ears to hear and a place to finally find rest. For you are loved.

You are loved indeed.

Seek Him right now.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me today and every day. I am grateful that You are bigger than all of my problems. Give me the courage and the wisdom to seek You today, regardless of my circumstances. I want to be found by You Lord. And give me a heart to be able to see and help others near me in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Click here to read the follow up letter Holly received from Sarah’s mother.

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps: 
Please read Luke 15:11-32. Focus on the father’s actions and reactions and journal your thoughts. What does this story teach you about God’s love for you?

Pray that you will have eyes to see that God’s love is constant, patient and welcoming.

Am I running from something today? Spiritually, physically or emotionally?

How can I seek Him more today?

Read Psalm 71:20-21. Record these verses on a 3x5 card. Do you know someone you could give these verses to as an encouragement?

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:14, “’I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity…’” (NIV) 

Luke 15:32, “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and his found.” (NIV)

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (NIV)

© 2011 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Thursday, 10 March 2011.