The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, April 24, 2022, comes to us from Rupert Greville of England, United Kingdom
10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:10-14 NIV
I lead activities sessions for adults with learning disabilities. One day, a woman in my care walked off the site without my noticing. She was nowhere to be found and I was frantic. We searched the streets around the site and those leading into the city, and we called the police. All the while, my worst fears for her were racing through my mind: What if …? Then the news came over the police radio that she’d been found. What a relief! I later learned that she had made her way to a tea shop near the center of town, where she had been kindly looked after by staff and a caring customer.
The range of emotions I felt that day – from fear and dread to sheer joy and relief at the news of her safety – must have been close to those experienced by the shepherd in Jesus’ story. The Father knows how easily we can wander, knows and cares for us individually, having deep regard for the choices we make and the difficulties we face. Matthew 18 reminds us that we are known and cherished by our loving God, who rejoices when we are found.
My story of having a child wander off is far less dramatic that Rupert Greville’s. When he was very young, my younger son wandered off in a store. I was beside myself. Although he probably wasn’t missing even 5 minutes, it seemed like hours. When I found him, he was just wandering around happily, seemingly without a care in the world. I was so relieved that I became lightheaded. Rupert Greville’s reflection helps me to understand that Christ’s loving grace for each of us, including me, is even more profound than our concern for our children and others who are entrusted in our care.
Loving God, thank you for caring for those who are lost and wandering. Help us to love them as you do. Amen.
People with Learning Disabilities
Thought for the Day:
God will help me through any difficulty I face.