Sometimes I upset people. Sometimes people upset me too. Sometimes both of these things happen at the same time. When something like this happens I want to pursue the other person to ‘fix’ the relationship. It might sound noble of me, but it is motivated by fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of losing love and affection. The truth is that I desperately want the other person to pursue me. But I am afraid that they won’t, so I pursue them.
A couple weeks ago I upset someone close to me. To be honest I was upset with them as well. My response was to sit down and sink into a puddle of anxiety. With my anxiety puddle developing into a large lake, I urgently tried to work out a way to ‘fix’ the relationship. Instead, I found myself thinking that it would mean the world if they came to me instead. Then I would know that I was loved.
I have been hooked on an old Hymn called ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’ for a couple months. It has this line that has captivated me. ‘Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God.’ As I sank deeper into the anxiety of a broken relationship these words filled my heart.
I became a Christian when I was very young. I have never really felt lost. I have known at an intellectual level that without Jesus I would be lost, but I have never really felt lost. This is a great thing. I am not complaining but at the same time you can’t really appreciate what it means to be found unless you know what it means to be lost.
In Luke 15 we read three stories that Jesus told about lost things. A Lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. I have always felt like these stories were about other people. These stories are about how valuable the lost are but I was one of the 9 coins, sitting on the shelf. I was the 99 sheep safely in the fold. Was I as valuable to Jesus as the lost coin? Would he pursue me if I was the lost sheep? I had always thought I was supposed to just sit on the shelf and be thankful that I wasn’t lost and help find the other coin.
In my ocean of anxiety, feeling the weight of distance, I tasted at some level what lost feels like. And I discovered the truth. I am the lost coin. I am the lost sheep. I am the lost son far off on the road that the father ran meet. I am the older brother outside the party that the father left to find. I was these things and Jesus found me. I am these things still. I am found but there are parts of me that are lost. There are parts of me not yet fully reconciled in relationship with God. Jesus pursued me and he relentlessly pursues me still. He seeks out every part of me and brings it safely back to God.
We are all the lost coin. We are all the lost sheep. We are all lost sons and daughters. We are found in Jesus, celebrated by the Father. He sought us when strangers wandering from the fold of God.
I was afraid that if I wasn’t the one that pursued, I would never be pursued. But all along Jesus has pursued me. He pursues because he is love, not because he is afraid. I want to learn what it looks like to pursue healing in relationships driven by love and not by fear. But more than that, I want to be part of Jesus’ pursuit of all the lost sheep, the lost coins, the lost sons and daughters in this world.