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Photo: Matthias Gelinski
The summer following my 10th birthday, our family made its first and only trek to Disneyland. We lived up north in Stockton, California, and in those days one had to travel Highway 99 to get to L.A. I well remember the all day trip driving with the “big trucks” through every town in California’s central valley that dotted the “99.” The stars were out (you could see them back then) by the time we pulled into Anaheim.

The three of us kids were so excited we could hardly sleep. But the next morning found us bright and early standing by the gate of the amusement park we had waited so long to see.

The day began well enough, that is, until my brother and I threw up our cotton candy on the spinning teacups. Our family had barely recovered from that mishap when the unthinkable happened. My sister disappeared in Frontierland. None of us even saw her slip away. It seemed we just looked around and she was gone.

I’m sure my parents were heart stricken for she was only three years old. Our holiday came to a screeching halt as we reported her lost and then waited moment by agonizing moment for her to be found. My parents were undoubtedly petrified by the possibility she might have fallen in one of the parks lagoons.

The Lost Is Found

Finally, after an hour or two, a policeman wearing a dark blue uniform, appeared with my sister by the hand. I can only imagine the relief and total joy of my parents at that moment. Their lost little girl had been found!

Now that I’m a mother myself, I think I can identify with the range of emotions my parents must have experienced that day, from agonizing heartache and fear to incredible happiness and relief.

Somehow, I sense that God must experience these same emotions on a daily basis millions of times over. For, we are all children of the Creator, each and every one of us. Yet, the Lord loves us individually as if we were an only child.

How it must hurt and grieve the Almighty when we wander away and get lost, for we mean so much to God. How the Lord longs for us to come home. But never forcing us, our God waits patiently, moment by agonizing moment hoping we will return.

This longing and desperation turns to indescribable joy when we finally do decide to turn around. Isn’t it time now to come home?

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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