November 29, 2007
Little Girl Lost
“’Come back, wandering children! I can heal your wanderlust!’
‘We’re here! We’ve come back to you. You’re our own true God!’”
Jeremiah 3:22 (MSG)
This morning I was walking out of the library with my toddler trailing behind me. As I walked through the sliding glass door to the parking lot, I turned to look behind me and my daughter was gone. She had seemingly vanished into thin air. I began to call her name, my eyes darting around from the inside of the library to the parking lot ahead, then back to the corners of the lobby I was standing in. If you have ever lost a child, you know the panicky feeling that instantly wells up in your heart. I rushed back inside the library and asked the librarians if they had seen her come back in. They said no, but one went to look in the children’s section. My heart was racing and my blood pounding as I ran back out to the lobby, calling her name over and over, louder and louder.
“Lord,” I prayed, “please help me find my precious daughter. Please don’t let anything happen to her.” I thought of random scenarios of what could have happened. Every news report I have ever seen, every newspaper article featuring missing children flashed before my eyes. The librarian came out to where I was standing and asked me if I had checked the stairs. I eyed the set of stairs set off to the side of the lobby, reasoning that she wouldn’t go there. It couldn’t hurt to check, I decided. I walked up the stairs and rounded the corner to see that precious little face looking back at me. She was sitting on the stairs the whole time, listening to me call her name in a panic.
I swooped her into my arms and hugged her tightly. “Why didn’t you answer me?” I asked. She looked back at me with her big blue eyes, studying my face like I had lost my mind. To her, she was never lost, just enjoying a new hiding place.
As I have thought of that moment when I knew she was gone, I have pictured her listening to me call to her, but not answering my cries. She had made a wrong turn and was out of my sight. I know all the dangers in the world. I know how careful I must be with my precious child. But she didn’t see the harm in trying out something new, investigating something different.
How many times have I been like my little girl? How many times have I ignored my Father’s voice, choosing my own way instead of answering His call? How many times have I been lost and didn’t even know it? How many times has He sought me out, even when I was unaware of the dangers that were lurking?
We all lose our way. The important part is not that we fall short, but how we respond when we do. Do we cry, “I’m here Daddy! Rescue me!” Or do we try to answer our own questions and solve our own problems? Do we need to rely on God more and ourselves less? Do we need to allow Him to pull us from our hiding place and hear His voice say, “I’ve been looking for you, my precious daughter.” Today I saw myself in my child—in desperate need of being found, of being searched for, of being drawn out of my hiding places, of being protected from the things I foolishly think are safe. Today I saw my Father, so willing to do all those things—to go to the ends of the earth if that is what it takes, to send His own Son to die in my place, to swoop me up into His arms and say, “I am so glad I found you.” It’s good to be found—even when you didn’t know you were lost.
Dear Lord, thank You for searching for me and not giving up when I have been lost but didn’t even realize it. Thank You for calling my name and loving me enough to draw me out of my hiding places. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“Becoming a Woman of Influence” message on CD, taught by Marybeth Whalen
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst
What are your hiding places? Write them down as God brings them to mind. Ask Him to help you stop hiding.
Is there someone in your life who needs you to pray today’s scripture as a promise for their life? Do you need to pray today’s scripture, responding with, “I’m here! I’ve come back. You are my true God”? If so, don’t delay in praying that prayer aloud today.
Job 28:10-11, “He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures. He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.” (NIV)
Psalm 143:9, “Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.” (NIV)
Psalm 32:7, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 29 November 2007.