When visiting my cousin, my backyard increased exponentially until exploring it required more than one day.
I envied my cousin. He and his family lived on my grandfather’s farm. Farmland, woods, hog pens, and cow pastures surrounded his house. When I visited my cousin, the woods became our second home. Occasionally, we’d enter a stretch of woods he’d not explored before. We’d use our knives to notch trees to find our way back should we got lost. Those experiences were the exceptions—not the rule.
Normally, we could roam all day and never get lost. He knew his way around. After all, he did this regularly. I was the visitor who didn’t have his bearings. I stood amazed at how my cousin could roam in all directions and then guide us back home. His backyard extended for miles, and he never got lost nor worried about any dangers in it.
Jesus describes a different backyard. One just as large, but one that involves getting lost inside. He came to save those lost in their backyards.
I never remember a time when my family had to search for my cousin and me. My cousin always knew our location, and we always came when called. Not the case with Jesus. He came to search. In fact, He searched before He came and still searches now that He’s back in heaven. He searches because I and the rest of humanity are lost. I was born lost and remained that way until He found me—and I let Him discover me.
Sin causes the lostness, not geographically, but spiritually. Sin is a word fewer people are comfortable with but one the Bible uses to describe our natural state. The consequences of sin aren’t pretty either: spiritual death and eternal separation from God.
Had I and my cousin ever gotten lost, his parents or our grandparents would have willingly searched until they found us. Jesus does the same. Staying lost in our backyard is our choice. So is being found. When found, forgiveness flows and life changes. Condemnation flies out the window, and acceptance moves in. Peace comes as I realize all things are now right between me and my Creator.
Don’t stay lost in your backyard. Let Jesus find you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, pastor, and author who has been published in numerous publications. He also serves as Managing Editor for both Christian Devotions and Vinewords.net. He is the author of six books. His most recent book, Don’t Just Live...Really Live, was released in November 2021. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of six. He can be contacted at [email protected].