This story was recently told as part of a devotional thought from a friend of mine, Jon Myers.

“I want you to think about some of the scariest moments in your life. And I’m not talking about roller-coaster scary, scary movie scary, or somebody just jumping out and saying BOO. I’m talking downright fear. I’m going to share two of those situations with you that I’ve encountered.

The first one…I was about 5-6 years old and I’m at TG&Y – that’s Walmart to you young guns out there- but I’m at TG&Y with my mom. And as a 5 year old/6 year old I’m going to get distracted and as I’m walking along beside her I get distracted. I keep walking thinking nothing of it. And then what happens in about 30 seconds is you look up at the leg you are following and IT’S NOT YOUR MOM! That’s SCARY for a 5-year-old kid. Once she found me………I clung to that leg the rest of the day.

Now let’s fast forward 23-24 years…it’s Halloween night. My only son at the time, Janzen, is 3. He and I were in our neighborhood trick or treating. Amanda is back at the house handing out candy. It’s a busy neighborhood for trick or treaters. And I guess I like getting distracted, so… somewhere in the process we are on a busy street and he’s wearing… – I don’t even remember what the costume was but it was popular because there were about 20 of them on the street that day – and again, I got distracted and I lost my son. Imagine the fear of a parent knowing that a 3-year-old is lost on a street. My eyes were probably as big as the moon that night. I started jogging, looking, looking and in about a minute I found him. I clung to Janzen so much that night. The fear of a lost child. The fear of losing a child.”

This story resonated with me as I recalled times in my life when I had wandered away from my relationship with God. How I was just walking along beside Him one moment, and then the next, I was distracted and consumed by my surroundings and when I looked back up to see Him, I realize I was walking hand in hand with the world. At times, so much so that, I thought I would never find my way back. But what I didn’t realize at the time, HE was actively pursuing me…wanting me back in the safety and comfort of His loving arms. Just like a parent. Just like the Father that He is.

  • Jon wasn’t the one who found his mom, his mom found him!

  • Janzen wasn’t the one who found his father, His father found Him.

Growing up, struggling with the assurance of my own salvation, I saw too many Christians looking like the world. Jon’s son, Janzen, was dressed like so many others on the street that day in his popular costume and Jon had a harder time finding him than if he would have been dressed uniquely. We must stand out…we must take off the worldly costume! At baptism, we put on Christ. Why wear anything different? We have been told in scripture that we have assurance in our salvation. These are beautiful, positive words written by Paul to encourage us to wear Christ daily…

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation…

  • Romans 5:9-10 – having now been justified by His blood, we SHALL be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son much more having been reconciled, we SHALL be saved by His life.

  • Romans 6:5 – For if we have united together in the likeness of His death, CERTAINLY we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, KNOWING this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin be might done any with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

We should boldly walk through this life as children of His knowing that if we happen to turn our back on Him, that He is fervently pursuing us to bring us back to Him. Knowing that we are truly never far away from God when we wander away should give us assurance and confidence in the salvation that exudes from us. In our actions, our demeanor, and our speech. This world needs to see the hope within us.

But, let’s bring this in a little closer to home. To our own children, to the youth in the church, to the youth we need to reach that is currently lost and distracted by this world. Our youth need to see the hope, assurance, and confidence within us. Confidence and assurance can be gained by seeing that quality in someone else. It has to be on display and has been spoken about.

A Christian living a Christian life but never speaking about the relationship they have with the Lord and the confidence they have in their salvation isn’t going to train the younger to be self-assured. If you have confidence in something, you are going to talk about it, share it, and want it for others. If we find ourselves doubting our own salvation, how can we teach the younger to trust God? How can we teach them to have an unwavering faith that will see them through to the end? Let’s rejoice in this salvation of ours and help the younger understand what it means to be saved.

We cannot even fathom how our Father and His Son feel when someone is lost. The moments of terror we endure when we lose our child for even a few seconds are indescribable but for Him, it’s not just one child for a few moments……..we can’t even put a number to souls that are lost. God knows what loss truly means and the heartache He must be enduring is beyond comprehension. But we do know what the Bible says about being lost and being found. Luke’s account in chapter 15 of the parable of the lost sheep is as follows:

So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which 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 neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance”...Luke 15:4-7

Such a beautiful image comes to mind here……. “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” Just like when we lose our child for a short period of time… our first reaction is to scoop them over our shoulder in an embrace. An embrace that comforts the child and the parent alike. A place of salvation, no longer “lost.” Our Father is giving us the image of the embrace that takes place when we repent. We don’t have to be lost. We don’t have to doubt our salvation.

Romans tells us,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”...Romans 8:1

Our God, our Father, demanded that there be a sacrifice for our sins. Not only did He demand it, but He provided it. God accepts His own Son’s death as a full and complete sacrifice for our sins. How can we doubt our salvation when our Father sacrificed the thing most precious to Him for us?

We’ve all experienced a Jon moment, being lost in some particular situation or losing a child or something dear to us for a short time, so we understand why he clung to the leg of his mom…why he clung to his son, Janzen. Love, protection, comfort, the relationship they had, and the list goes on. Walk hand in hand with the Father so that you never veer too far from His embrace.

Take Off The Costume/Mask.

Wear Your Confidence.

Show Your Assurance.

Speak Of Your Precious Salvation in Him.

Teach the younger generation that His promises are for real and this world can’t offer the type of Hope He can! Teach them to KNOW they are His!

Melissa Thompson
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Melissa has been married for almost 35 years to her husband, Jeff, and has a close-knit family that loves the Lord. Jamie and her husband, Steve, live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with their three children - Oaklyn, Isla, and Luca. Kaylee and James live in Washington, Oklahoma, with their three children - Adelynn, Brynlee, and Caden. Justin and Sarah also live in Washington, Oklahoma, with their daughter - Mia. Those seven grandchildren are truly some of God's greatest blessings for Melissa and Jeff. Melissa has worked for a local school day photography company for over 25 years as a business manager and owns her own yearbook sales company. Melissa is passionate about the younger generation, knowing that it is the future of the Lord’s church. Because of that passion, she has spent many years counseling and teaching at different church camps. She also started the Oklahoma E.W.E.S. Camp for young Christian women, which she directed for ten years, and has recently passed the reins over to another director. Over the past 5 years, Melissa has worked with her husband alongside the college minister of Sooner Servants at Westside Church of Christ in Norman to encourage, teach, and help grow the faith of the college students passing through during their years in Norman.