Read Luke 15:1-10. What if the sheep had said “no”? They can be stubborn creatures, as anyone who has tried to round them up would tell you. The sheep could have told the shepherd he didn’t want to be rescued. “I’m OK thanks. This grass seems so much greener than the stuff back at the sheepfold”.
When I was younger, I vividly remember being stopped in my tracks by a wayside pulpit outside of a Methodist Church in Norwich. It read: “If God seems far away, who moved”? God doesn’t move. We do. If we no longer feel close to God, then oftentimes it’s because we’ve moved away from him, like the lost sheep.
God will seek us out, but he won’t force us to return. That’s a choice he leaves to us. He wants us to return, but we must be ready. We have to get to the point where we say, with the lost son (whose story can be found later in Luke 15), I’m tired of being lost and unhappy. When we’re ready to return, then God will carry us joyfully and safely home on his shoulders. Heaven will rejoice with him.
Returning to God and putting our relationship right with him is the route to peace and happiness. Like the lost sheep, we need to be willing to allow God to carry us home on his shoulders.
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
• How close to God are you just now? If he seems far away, are you ready to return to him?