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    Lost and Found

    Yesterday, I went to Island Beach State Park in New Jersey with some great friends.  We traditionally go camping as families, but we had to settle for a day trip this year as we are all dealing with busy schedules which seems to come with growing children.

    It was a very enjoyable day.  The temperature was perfect in the low to mid 80s.  The water was a little cold, but the sun was out.

    Our kids quickly came up to speed and started to play together making sand sculptures and splashing in the surf.  Our kids now range in age from 9 years old (almost 10) to eighteen years old.  It’s hard to imagine.  When we started this tradition, two of the kids hadn’t even been born.

    The kids kind of take care of each other with the older kids keeping an eye on the younger kids.  Naturally, the adults enjoyed talking to each other as the kids played.  I was talking to one of my friends when he suddenly popped out of his beach chair and ran towards the shore line.  He had seen his wife looking up and down the shore line and into the water for their son.  After a minute, the rest of our crew began the search for their son.  We stretched out northward and southward looking for this young boy.  The mother spoke with a life guard who immediately radioed all the other life guards with a description of the lost boy.

    Within minutes, they found the missing boy a few lifeguard stands down the beach.  My friends quickly ran down the beach to retrieve their son.

    Their panic turned to relief as they discovered their lost boy had been found.

    There are several stories in the gospel of Luke about the search for things that are lost – The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32), The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10), and The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7).  These stories are worth reading.  In each story, Jesus tells about the all-out search for something lost.  He uses these parables to describe the Father’s love for His children who are lost.

    My friends would have done anything to find their son.  They love him so much.  They would have turned over every blanket on the beach just to find their little boy.  This is the same way God feels about you.  He is willing to conduct an all-out search mission just for you.  And this is why He sent His Son – to seek and save the lost.

    When have you lost something very important to you?  How did you go about searching for the thing you lost?  How did you feel when you found it?