Anxiety, rejection, loneliness. Grief, confusion, aimlessness. Have you ever experienced the uncertainty of feeling lost? To be lost is to be unable to find your way – to feel insecure and disoriented without certainty of recovery.
Several years ago, I lost my engagement ring. For weeks we scoured the house to find it – garbage was unraveled, every nook was investigated, every pocket flipped inside-out. Around the same time, I misplaced a grocery store receipt even though I was certain where I had placed it. I searched for 5 minutes, scratched my head when I couldn’t locate it, and moved on with my day. I had lost my ring, but I hadn’t ‘lost’ my receipt. Why? The interesting part about being lost is that you immediately realize how valuable you are. We don’t lose garbage. Neither does God.
Physical and spiritual lostness mirror one another. Humanity became disoriented to its true identity the moment that Adam and Eve’s lips descended upon that sin-coated apple. They chose sin over relationship with God — lostness over belonging. Every time we sin in thought, word, and deed, we replicate their choice. Yet Jesus didn’t shrug at our lost state with indifference but humbly stepped from the throne room of heaven into human skin to launch the greatest search-and-rescue mission ever conceived. While actively sinning against God, He stuns us with His insistence to find us. Jesus’s life and work secured our ‘finding’ upon our repentance and trust in Him.
While we continue to move within a broken humanity that has lost its identity and way, we have a message of hope to share with others who feel lost too. We’ve been found. Being made in His image gives our humanity dignity. (Gen 1:27-28) Being found like lost treasure shows the depth of our value to Him. (Matt 13: 44-46) Being betrothed as His bride assures us that He won’t change His mind. (Rev 19:7)
Now, the insecurity of our eternal standing now rests in His work, not our own. The weight of shame is replaced with the relief of grace. Disorientation to our true purpose now reorients to being found in Him. Uncertainty of our belonging is now secured in a corporate identity with God’s people forever. (Rev 21:1-4)
It was Jesus’s delight to find us – at any cost. We were not just found because we were lost. We were found because we are loved.