Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Awful Realization that You are Lost

Have you ever been completely lost, not knowing where you were or how you would get to where you were going? If you have, then you know the feelings of hopelessness and despair that can overtake you. You also know the feeling of having been found, the wonderful release that comes when you are rescued and your situation is set right again!
I was traveling on a train with two small children, returning to Missouri after visiting my parents in Texas. We arrived at the enormous old train station in Kansas City, but my husband was not there to pick us up. He had  misunderstood the time of arrival, and he was in a small town more than an hour away from where we were waiting.  I had a three year old and a 15-month-old and I was pregnant again. I couldn’t keep up with those two in that big train station, as they ran from place to place. I stood, watching my active toddlers, with my luggage and my pregnant body and thought, "I can't do this."
After talking to my husband and learning that he had been asleep in Bosworth, Missouri, about one hundred miles from Kansas City, I called the seminary my husband attended. One of his friends came and took us to his house where the children could play while we waited. However, in our haste for my husband to come and get us, somehow we had miscommunicated again. He drove directly to the train station. I talked to his friend after I talked to him, so he didn't know where we were. I was so anxious to get my little ones out of there, I forgot to call him again. But he was probably driving by then, and of course that was before cell phones or texting or any other instant communication that people today rely on
         When he arrived, my husband searched all over the station. He questioned the Ticketmaster, he called hospitals, he even went into the women’s restroom looking for a young pregnant woman with two small children. The startled women helped him look, but we were not to be found. He called the police, he called the morgue, he searched everywhere. He thought his family was gone forever!
         Hours passed as we waited and he searched. It was not much help when my son kept saying, “Where is daddy? When is he coming?” My tears flowed freely as I pondered that very same question!
          Finally I called back to our home town, and the girl working the switchboard at the old telephone company, who happened to be a member of the church my husband pastored, listened in on the call. She then relayed our location to my husband when he called back to our little town, frantically seeking information about his family. He finally found us eight hours after we had originally arrived!
I still remember the feeling I had when he drove up to the house where we were waiting for him. It was late in the afternoon and we had been there since early that morning. As he got out of the car and we ran to one another, his arms around me were all I needed to feel at ease. We had a wonderful reunion, as we drove home, so thankful to be together again! 
Home is when you are with the ones you love, when you are in a familiar place, when you feel that all is right because your family is together  There is no substitute for the feeling that comes when the lost has been found.
My husband often told this story as he preached through the years, comparing our being lost from each other to people who are lost without Jesus. When they finally turn to him and accept him as their Savior, there is no comparison for the feeling that comes. When you know you are home, safe and secure in the hands of the Father in Heaven, you are never lost again.
This was published in the St. Louis Suburban Journal January 19, 2011

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