Have you ever lost a child? Well I have!
When David was just 2 years old he got lost and it is AMAZING to me to this day how the Lord took care of David and brought him safely home.
After finishing Bible College our family moved to South Carolina to start a church. We were staying in a temporary home in Santee until we could establish a home in Columbia. The temporary home had a super long driveway. I’d say at least the length of a football field with farm fields on one side and pine tree woods on the other. And the road to which the drive led was a country road. The houses down the road were sparsely separated by the fields and the beautiful pine tree woods.
Our oldest daughter Heather was swinging on the swingset in the front yard. David and Katie, our two youngest, were playing with their toys in one of the bedrooms of the house. I was vacuuming. Jeff had come in to let me know he was heading to the post office to care for mail delivery to our temporary home. There was a quick conversation. Something was said about taking David, but nothing concrete was established. I finished vacuuming for a few more minutes then went to check on the kids.
Katie was sweetly playing. Heather was sweetly singing and swinging. David was nowhere to be found. I looked harder. Had David slipped out into the yard? I asked Heather if David had gone with Daddy or if she had seen David out in the yard. She did not know. I looked down the long drive. Nothing. “Had Jeff taken David with him?” I called out and looked harder! I began to panic. I began to pray. I called the post office in town. It was just a mile or two away, but Jeff was not there because they had sent him to another post office in the next town over. I called the other post office and had to wait until he arrived there so he could call me back.
I was so afraid, so worried, but realized there was nothing more I could do but pray and wait. Most likely Jeff had taken David with him. Right?!?
After a few minutes a car drove up to the house. It was an older lady. She had David in her arms and was wondering if this might be my child. Too happy to be embarrassed, I grabbed David with glee!!
David had seen his Daddy leave. He had taken off down the long dirt driveway after him. He was walking in the middle of the country road when the lady spotted him. She stopped and picked him up. She did not know what to do so she took him to her house just a few houses down the country road. She knew everyone who lived down the road, and no one had children his age. She knew the child must belong to someone, but who? Then she remembered that she had heard, through the grapevine, of course, that someone had just moved into “Betty”s” house for a bit. So she loaded David in the car and drove over.
If you have ever lost a child you understand the passion of seeking the child. You know the rejoicing of finding the child.
The passage surrounding our verse, Matthew 18:14, for today records the love and passion Jesus has for the lost child. To Jesus the child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He desires to protect them against offences and hatred. They have angels that approach the throne of God on their behalf. They are sought after and rejoiced over when they are found. Our heavenly Father is not willing that they should perish or be lost. They are the reason Jesus came.
What are you doing to reach a lost child today? Can you teach a Sunday School class, work a bus route, serve in a junior church, change a diaper in the nursery?
Can you teach a young mother to love her husband and to love her children? Can you encourage a young family that they can hang on to God through the rough patches? Can you do it for the love of Christ and for children?
Jesus was passionate about the children, holding a child up before His disciples and calling them the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Our Father is not willing that the children should perish. In fact it is the will of God that we, His disciples, reach the lost child.
“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated “perish” in Matthew 18:14, our verse for today.