Read: Luke 15:1-7 NRSV
Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
Do you spend all day thinking about how perfect the vast majority of your life is? Or how nicely most of the walls in your home are painted? Or how nine of your toes feel great? If you’re anything like me, you probably devote a lot of brain space to stressing about the less-than perfect aspects of your life or the one wall at home that needs to be repainted or the one toe that you just stubbed on the corner of the couch.
It doesn’t mean that we aren’t grateful for the good things in life or happy that most of our home is presentable or that nine of our toes haven’t been stubbed. The fact is that the unpleasant has a way of crowding out the pleasant. God rejoices in heaven over the lost sinner being found because that one sinner grieves him like a stubbed toe. It doesn’t mean that He forgets those who are already in His fold, but His focus is protecting all of His sheep.
Likewise, think about how happy and accomplished you feel when you finally get around to painting that one wall in your house! You still appreciate the rest of the walls, but now you feel a sense of closure and finality. You accomplished your mission and you can sit down and enjoy your home without that one nagging thought in the back of your head.
God is constantly seeking us all because He wants us all to be with Him and to depend on Him. He wants to lead us beside still waters and restore our souls.