There is nothing bleaker than to describe someone’s condition as being ‘lost.’
This is tragic because it is the stone cold opposite of who we actually are at the bottom of our being: children of the Father. We are not alone, out in the dark trying to find our way – we are anything but lost. How can this be? Because of Him:
The great mission of Jesus was to bring us back to the Father so that we can say that we ‘once were lost, but now are found.’ Without knowing and acknowledging that we are sons and daughters (children) of God we are truly lost.
This is a huge wound in our times. Our society has ‘run away from home’ in just about every way imaginable. We have dismissed all that our ancestors have left us and we’ve gone out into the wild to make life up as we go. Worse than that, we have run away from Jesus (and thus from our Father’s arms) to be our own masters and to decide for ourselves what is good and right and true.
But when children run away from home, they don’t become adults – they become orphans. And the fallout has come like a hammer blow. Like orphans alone in the dark, wild forest – filled with fear, scraping for survival, running from wolves – our people are submerged in an anxious, self-protective isolation. We are lost. In the frightening darkness where we can’t see right, we are repeatedly wounded and lash out at everything as a threat to our safety – even our brothers and sisters.
Terrified, we just try to push everything back. The outside world becomes only conflict. Thus, we retreat into ourselves – exactly where the devil wants us. The more we try to ‘go-it-alone’ – the more we try to fix our own problems – the more we curve in on ourselves and the more lost we become. Our trust is crippled, our hope is suffocated and our love is drowned.
A word of caution: it must be easy to read that (admittedly intense) description of our world and think, “Wow, that stinks for those people.” Don’t do that. Anyone who has ever been a slave to sin (that would be everybody) has played the part of the orphan. You and I all struggle in some fashion with everything just described above. As long as we are sinners we are (all of us) in some form still runaways afflicted by fear.
But, thank God that there is an answer: Jesus! He promises:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
The more we live in Him, the more we experience freedom from this bleak orphanhood. Jesus came to give us the Holy Spirit, who bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God. Through Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, we can live with God our Father even now. So while we still slip up and struggle with living as orphans, if we put our trust in Him, Jesus can win the victory in us and make our sonship and daughterhood a more tangible, sparklingly reality.
But to live without Jesus is to be increasingly conquered by this orphanhood. We must never forget this. In all of our daily interactions with random people, coworkers, friends and family members, we have to remember that this is where a lot of people are living – alone in a forest filled with the howling of wolves. Many, many people are living as orphans.
We are on this Earth to tell people that they don’t have to live this way! They don’t have to be lost. We are here to tell them that Jesus can save them from the darkness, fill the void of isolation, still their fears and bring them home to their Father! We are on this Earth to love them.
Praise the Lord that we are no longer orphans, but sons and daughters of the King. May we battle in our times to help save people from this Age of Orphanhood!