My creative outlet has been focused on a project for Father’s Day and for scavenger hunt clues for a slumber party these past couple weeks so the blog has been a bit on the back burner. A friend of mine just gave me a topic suggestion of lost socks and now after having twelve girls staying in our home for one night there are all sorts of lost something’s around here. Socks, undies, towels, shoes, and swim goggles to name a few random items found so far. My friend is single and still has the infamous sock mystery in her own home she said. Where do these socks go? As a mother I am so relieved that the fashion has changed to the little anklet socks that are bright in colors and do not have to match. In fact you can even purchase socks now that do not have a matching friend. In this household it isn’t always such a mystery of where our socks go with having a dog that loves to eat anything that smells like feet. I shall not mention the other things this weird dog loves. We also find the socks in random places. Pockets of jeans, behind the dryer, in toy boxes, under the couch, in the couch… There are sad little socks lost to never be worn again across our beautiful globe and most definitely across these wonderful United States of America. Sometimes you see a lone sock or even a shoe along the roadside. Now how in the world does that happen? Socks seem so insignificant until you have a blister rubbed on your foot or wear a pair of shoes without socks. Enclosed shoes worn without socks become putrefied very quickly within the Lucas family. The worst smelling shoes award were a pair of soccer shoes and socks that had been worn to play a soccer game in the rain. The shoes and socks were left under the driver’s seat of my car without my knowledge. The next morning it literally smelled like a small animal had crawled in my car, died, and decayed overnight. For the most part losing a sock doesn’t get me too bent out of shape. Now there have been frantic searches for a matching soccer sock on game days that gets the entire family focused on one measly stinky sock. This mother learned very early to always buy at least two sets of each color of uniform socks. Even then that is not always enough to prevent the last minute soccer sock panic.
My friend’s suggestion got me to thinking and studying God’s word more intently on what it means to be lost. It is a Christian term that I know I have been guilty of taking for granted that everyone knows. The Christian terms of being “saved” and “lost” can be quite confusing to anyone who hasn’t been raised in church. As I think of terms we just haphazardly throw around it is no wonder the world doesn’t understand.
In the bible Jesus says in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” He made this statement for the benefit of critical on lookers as he called to Zacchaeus the tax collector to come down from the tree and asked to go to the house of this so called “sinner”. When researching this verse I learned something new about my own bible. There is no Matthew 18:11. In all the times I have read the book of Matthew I have never noticed the missing verse. In some scripts this verse Luke 19:10 was quoted here as well, but upon researching original Greek scripts this verse actually does not translate into this section of the bible so many newer translations have simply left it out. It is a process called textual criticism that is a tool in testing the accuracy of the scriptures. In Matthew eighteen the concept of Jesus seeking and saving the lost is there as He tells the parable of the lost sheep. Matthew 18:12-14 “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? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wonder off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” This discovery brought an even greater discovery and reassurance of how God has protected His ancient word. No other ancient manuscript has been copied so many times in so many different languages yet maintains nearly one hundred percent accuracy despite the fact that “to error is human”. He divinely used human beings to script His word and continues to use us to share and copy it. He has protected this roadmap to life and the history of His plan time and time again through countless efforts for it to be destroyed or to be taken out of context.
The same love and protection of the scriptures God has applies to every single human being. What does it mean to be “lost”? What does Jesus need to “save” us from? God had created mankind to be his friends yet he wanted the love and trust of the relationship to be mutual. For us to have “free will” to choose God’s friendship and to trust Him. Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to eat from the one tree that God had warned them not to eat from. They had free reign of all the other food in the paradise God had placed them in. There was no pain, sickness, guilt, shame, or sadness. As soon as they had eaten the fruit of the tree God had told them not to the result was immediate. They immediately felt the burden of guilt and shame. They tried to hide from God and started passing the blame from themselves Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the serpent. All in all it was each of their own personal choice to do the one thing God their creator and friend had asked of them not to do. From that point on every human being has had this bondage of guilt, shame, and sadness. Not a single one of us is free from our sinful choices. We are a slave to our choices, addictions, bitterness, and selfishness. Our sin has caused separation from God’s love, companionship, friendship, and protection. The Old Testament provides the history of God’s plan to provide the perfect sacrifice to cover the separation our sin has caused. The New Testament reveals God’s one and only Son, Jesus. God in the flesh came to earth and led a sinless life. He was the pure and perfect sacrifice that covered our sins that separate us from God. Once again God has given us the choice. First we must realize that we are lost. We are so much more important than a sock or a sheep as in the parable that Jesus told. To God each and every one of us is worth the pain and suffering endured on the cross. He calls to each and every one of us separately and personally. When we choose to believe and allow Jesus to free us from the pain of our burdens it is the most freeing experience that is possible for mankind. So often we have no idea of the weight that we try to carry and the joy that we are missing. We can choose to become bitter by our circumstances of sins inflicted by others on us or by the consequences of our own sins or we can choose true life through Jesus.
We don’t have to be a lost sock. We can forever be paired with Jesus to fulfill God’s plan for our lives for eternity. It is our choice to continue to carry our pains in this life and to die separated from God forever. Or to start living a life free from our burdens right now and have the promise of eternal life. When death comes for a believer true life begins with no more pain, tears, or sorrows.