I had an unexpected encounter in a restaurant today.
I stopped in to grab a quick bite to eat. My mind was running a mile a minute, as I had a day full of activities I needed to plan out in my head.
The waitress came to take my drink order and I told her that I already knew what I wanted to eat. I quickly blurted out a simple order of bacon and eggs.
But she didn’t write anything down. She just stood there- studying my face.
I repeated my order, thinking maybe she was tired or maybe confused. But she continued to just look at me with a blank stare on her face.
We looked at one another for an awkward 5 seconds or so. She finally walked away toward the kitchen.
A couple of minutes later she walked back over to the table with my coffee and asked…”don’t you work at the college?” I told her that I did.
“I thought I recognized you. I saw you at graduation yesterday,” she said with a smile.
I returned her grin and told her that graduations were special and I always enjoy watching students celebrate at this special occasion. It’s a happy culmination of years of hard work, I explained.
She pulled out her phone and found a photo she wanted to share. The picture was of a smiling young woman in her cap and gown.
“This is my granddaughter. She’s had a rough road and life hasn’t been easy for her. She’s the first person in our family to attend and finish college.” She went on to talk about the long path her granddaughter’s life had taken her down…and that she had faced many challenges and overcome many past mistakes to get where she was right now.
“She’s found her way.”
Tears were streaming down her face. She sobbed and quickly walked away, apologizing to me over her shoulder.
As I walked out, I couldn’t help but think about the pain and hurt that grandmother had felt in the past…and the sense of pride and relief that she felt now.
I tried to imagine how God must feel when we return to Him.
We’re given a glimpse through various passages in the Bible.
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:3-7
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
Joy over finding the lost sheep.
No condemnation, only salvation.
My prayer this week is to examine my own life and see what barriers I have placed in my relationship with our Savior. I will pray for the strength to address these challenges and to seek a closer walk with Jesus.
Please let me know how I may pray for you.
God bless you!