He counted them once, then he counted them again. He knew he had a hundred sheep but he could only count ninety-nine. So he counted again and yes, one was lost. It was just one sheep, but these were his sheep. He knew each one by name and knew each one by sight. Now most of them are safe, but one was lost.
Ninety-nine sheep are safe. Only one is missing. Outside it is cold and dark. The wolves are howling. It is dangerous to go out. Some shepherds would say, “ I have ninety-nine that are safe, I won’t concern myself with the one that is lost.” But not the Good Shepherd. He knows his sheep by name and his heart trembles for the one that is lost .
Carrying a rod for protection and a staff to rescue his sheep, he goes out into the cold dangerous darkness. He searches until he finds his lost sheep. Cast into the briars and brambles, the frightened sheep is torn and bloodied. Using his staff the shepherd draws the lost one to safety. Anointing him with oil and binding his wounds the shepherd now sings with joy because he has found the one that was lost.
Jesus, my Lord, is the Good Shepherd. Many of His children are safe in the fold. But some have wandered away. Maybe you have been cast into the briars and brambles of addiction. Or maybe you are just confused, stumbling around in the darkness, endangered by the worldly wolves. But Jesus, the Lover of your soul, is heartbroken because you are not safe. He longs to once again hold the one who is lost.
Listen to my words all who are sick and lonely, afraid of the dangerous darkness that surrounds you. The Savior is calling out your name if you will just be still and listen. The Holy Spirit is the rod that will protect you and the staff that will rescue you. Jesus is the Seeker of the one that is lost. He will draw you close, bind your wounds, and anoint you with healing oil.
Trust in this promise from Ezekiel 34:15-16; “I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick .”
Douglas & Deborah Huff
Pavement Ends Ministry