MISSING

Yesterday, our children gave my wife and I, perhaps, one of the scariest moments as parents (collectively) that we've ever experienced. I came out from a nap (I like to rest up before church) and called out to the kids (whose voices I heard moments before). My wife, who was doing dishes, said they were just outside, and so following that lead, I went out and called, hearing nothing. So I assumed they went down the street to the school playground, which is their usual haunt, and only saw kids I was unfamiliar with, and who had not seen my children anywhere. I asked the neighbor across the street. He knew his daughter had been to see them, but didn't know beyond that. Finally, after searching in my truck, I found them at a friends house. They had gone to see a baby lizard their friends had caught. They had gone to see a baby lizard their friends had caught but did not tell us this was where they were going (or even ask if they could). My response was relief mixed with anger. With so many kids missing these days, the thought of someone taking them had crossed our minds! So we talked to them about what they made us feel, we disciplined them, and then they saw my wife break down and cry...and I think they understood. Today, a little over 12 hours later, I can't help but wonder: the brokenness and hurt I felt of my kids being wayward, is this a glimpse in to the heart of God over the state of humanity? Consider for a minute the History of God and humanity through the Bible. God creates paradise. All is perfect, and yet there's a command given that humanity can't follow: don't eat from the tree in the center of the Garden. It's not for you. What do they do? They eat of it, and hide when they hear God coming. I can always hear God's pain when He asks "Adam, what have you done?" and even more as, instead of being honest, Adam immediately shifts the blame to his wife, who shifts it to the serpent. Yet, even though God had to discipline His son and daughter, He made a sacrifice for them, and provided animal skins as clothes . We see God's broken heart only increase from there as He deals with Adam and Eve's offspring who grow increasingly rebellious. His broken heart comes to a climax as He sends His own son to be the final Sacrifice. As an Earthly father, I'd move heaven and earth if I could to see my kids again. As our Heavenly Father, God did just that to correct our rebellion through Jesus Christ. Consider, then, how we live. Consider the lost all around us and the broken heart of the Father as many of His kids are missing or wandering from Him. Let us, then, see the urgency of the Gospel Message, and seek to reunite God with His children. 2 Peter 3 1-13 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

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