People from all around the small community in Washington gathered to search for Cody, the eleven year old boy who had been missing for several weeks. Alarmed neighbors. Frightened classmates. Concerned friends. Helpful strangers. They all gathered, listened closely to the instructions on where and how to search, and then scattered to cover as much territory as possible.
One person was obviously missing from the search, the boy’s father. He “lawyered-up,” refused to talk to anyone about his missing son, and skipped the search. The father and his girlfriend even refused to attend the candlelight vigil. The community rallied to find the boy. The boy’s father refused to search.
Can you believe it — Dad skipping the search for his missing son?
Maybe now is a good time to remember what kind of Father we have. Take a moment to read through Luke chapter 15 and reflect on three pictures of God.
God is like a shepherd who searches for that one lost sheep until he has it safely in his arms (verses 1-7). When he finds it, He rejoices with his friends and neighbors.
God is like a woman who searches for the valued silver coin she has lost until she has it back in her hands. (verses 8-10). When she finds it, she joyfully celebrates with her friends and neighbors.
God is like a father who patiently and persistently watches and waits for his son to come to his senses and return from the far country of sin (verses 11-32). He won’t stop until his son is back in his arms. Little does the son know that while he is traveling down the road toward home rehearsing his plea for forgiveness, his father has been looking down the road to the far country while going over plans for the welcome home party. Talk about a blow-out celebration — the best robe, the ring, the sandals, and the fattened calf.
What endearing pictures of God! I don’t think I will ever understand a father skipping the search for his missing son. How can a father’s heart be so apathetic? But more and more I am grasping the Father God who loves us so much that He never stops seeking, searching, waiting, and watching for us. More and more I am understanding our God initiates and leads the joyful celebrations of heaven. The more I know Him, the more I want to joyfully celebrate right here and right now.
After all, when you know the Heavenly Father who would never skip a search, why would you wait until heaven to celebrate with Him?