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Saturday, August 25, 2018

when your future isn't looking bright


When I wrecked that motorbike in Thailand, my dad had never been overseas. Nor did he ever intend to. But he and mom, they booked a flight the same day they received the call. 
Three days later, they were sitting by my hospital bed in Bangkok.

That August 25, 2012 event- wrecking and colliding head-first into a metal pole- it's still teaching me the Gospel. I'm taking today to celebrate the Gospel, and that I'm still alive. 

Luke 15:3-7; Jesus tells us a story to teach us what He's like. It's about a shepherd who loses one of his sheep, so he leaves the rest of the flock to go find it. 

It was the sheep's fault. He got distracted, stopped listening to the only voice that could keep him safe, and got himself lost and alone. I picture him in a woods, the sun is going down, he's cold and lonely and scared. He can't hear any of his sheep friends, see any of their tracks, has no way of getting back to them. And there were probably some big animals- the kind who like to eat sheep at night- not too far away. His future wasn't looking bright. 

But shepherd is determined and after a lot of searching, he finds him. I love that part. God looks for us and finds us. I like this next part, too. 

The shepherd didn't use any harsh words, didn't beat the sheep or tell him he was to blame. There were no speeches. He picked him up. He put him on his shoulders. He carried him the whole way back to the rest of the flock. Then they had a party. 

Because I was unconscious, with a feeding tube down my throat and life support strapped to my face, there was a constant stream of drool coming out of my mouth. So dad stood my by bed with a drool-suction tool and used it to suck up the slobber. No one told him to take that job, he just wanted to. He wanted his unconscious daughter's cut-up face to be drool-free. 

Mom decided to fast. She stopped eating when she first heard about my wreck, and made a commitment to fast and pray until I woke up. 

Today, my remembering is focused on the parents who flew across the world to bring me back home. This is teaching me more about God's big Heart.  

It's not exactly the story Jesus was telling in Luke 15, but has some similarities. The wreck was my fault. The thousands of dollars I cost my parents was my fault. And like the dumb sheep, my future wasn't looking bright. But mom and dad, they were determined to get to me and determined to help me recover. 

There's always room for us on God's shoulders. 
Dim futures get lit up when we let Jesus pick us up.

Mom and dad have never spoken one accusatory word about that wreck. Jesus takes all the "fault," and He gets rid of it. We get to live without blame. The Cross made that possible. When I woke up, mom and dad didn't give me a motorbike safety speech, tell me how worried they'd been, or ensure I knew what I was costing them. They bought me milkshakes. 
And watched movies with me. 

God is like that. 
We sin, we make stupid decisions, we have wrecks, we end up lonely and weak and confused. But He searches for and finds us. Then He erases all the blame and celebrates us.

August 25, the God who became a man to rescue us out of the scary woods, take all our blame, and have a party for us, milkshake-buying parents, dim futures that suddenly get bright, and a scarred face that's smiling; I love the Gospel and I love today.  

Lord, how wonderful You are!
-Psalm 31:19