A television ad for a Web site, asking this question, caught my attention while I ran on the treadmill at the Y. The sound was muted, so I couldn’t hear the site’s claims, but I got the gist of the service it provides.
It starts with the assumption that feeds the inner ego: someone is looking for me. Exes, friends, employers … the possibilities only start there. Just asking the question, “Who’s searching for you?” is a hook. Who doesn’t want to think that someone, somewhere is looking for them? It’s a search for significance, maybe. Validation that we matter to someone. I was even a little curious. But I didn’t take the bait. Maybe no one is looking for me, and that would be a little depressing.
That question isn’t always a thrilling one. I think about this sometimes when I get a missed phone call, with no voicemail, from a number I don’t recognize. Especially if it’s repeated over several days. My husband and I have had creditors call about bad debt, and even though I’m pretty sure we’re paid up with a clean slate, I still worry sometimes that someone is trying to track us down because of a debt we weren’t aware of. We don’t have a lot of money as it is; I’m not fond of unexpected financial obligations.
Who’s searching for you? The question has an awesome answer that the Web site doesn’t provide.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.'” (Luke 15:3-7)
Someone is searching for you. If you are lost, God is looking for you. Actually, He already knows where you are, but He’s pursuing you to set you right. A sheep on its own cannot fend for itself and survive.
At church this week, a couple of women were talking about a bumper sticker they had seen. It said: “Church is full of people who can’t think for themselves.” That certainly seems true sometimes, but I have to disagree. Sheep need a shepherd to show them where to eat, where to rest and to protect them from danger. Sheep, if left to “think for themselves,” wouldn’t know danger until it was too late.
I don’t always like being compared to a sheep, but God knew what He was doing when He called Himself a Shepherd. I need God to provide for me, to tell me when to rest, to protect me from danger and harm. He lovingly cares for me, and I choose to follow Him because I’ve seen the damage I can do when left to my own way.
God was searching for me long before I said, “Yes” to life with Him. I don’t regret it at all.
If you’re wondering if anyone cares, if anyone is searching for you, the answer to both questions is YES.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
And you don’t need a Web site to help you find Him.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
He’s as close as a prayer.
“I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.” (Psalm 119:176)