How God Feels When We're Lost
- Adam Weber adamweber.com
- 2017 21 Mar
Our God is Crazy for Us and Longs to be with Us
A couple of years ago, I got a glimpse of the heart that God has for us, particularly when we’re far from him, not talking with him. I got a look at how God feels when we’re lost.
My wife’s folks came to town, and we visited them at their hotel. All our nephews and nieces were there as well, so kids were everywhere. My in-laws got a suite at the hotel, which consisted of three large rooms. (This makes it sound much cooler than it was.)
At one point, the entire family was on the first floor of the hotel and we all decided to head back to the suite on the second floor. But the kids ran ahead. We told them to stop. We told them to stay close to us, but they didn’t listen. They didn’t want to wait for us slow-pokey parents, so they ran up the stairs together. The adults followed behind.
When we all got to the room, the kids were playing and having fun. But after about fifteen, or maybe even twenty, minutes someone randomly asked: “Where’s Grayson?”
Grayson is my daughter, who was four years old at the time. And, come to think of it, I hadn’t seen her either.
At first it seemed like no big deal because she had to be somewhere in the room. So we checked the first room and the first bathroom; I knocked and she wasn’t in there. We went to the next room, and checked the bathroom. She wasn’t there. We then looked through the last room and she wasn’t there either. In a matter of seconds, it had become crystal clear that my daughter was nowhere in the suite, and she hadn’t been with us for more than fifteen minutes!
Complete panic. Absolute fear! Honestly, I can’t remember a time I’ve ever felt like that.
I didn’t say a word. I couldn’t speak. I just ran. I ran out of the room, as fast as I possibly could. I first ran to the elevator, and when it didn’t immediately open, I ran to the stairs. All I could think was that I needed to get to the parking lot to make sure Grayson wasn’t with someone else. I need to find her!
I sprinted down the stairs.
My whole family—aunts and uncles, cousins, everyone—searched frantically. It was the first time I’d ever seen my father-in-law run.
Out of breath, I finally made it to the first floor, and there I spotted the hotel manager. She was holding my Grayson in her arms. The lady didn’t have to ask. She could just tell by the look on my face that I was the dad.
I ran to Grayson and grabbed her. I held her in my arms, hugging her. Probably a little too tightly. I asked her, “Baby, what happened?”
My little girl was crying uncontrollably, and she said, “Daddy, I was lost. And I was scared.”
We found out later what had happened. When the kids ran off to the suite without the parents, Grayson did the same, but she was slower than the other kids. Because she couldn’t keep up, she lost sight of the others and ended up on the third floor instead of the second. She got lost.
As I held and hugged her the whole way back to the room, my heart still racing, what did I say to Grayson?
I didn’t mention that she should have listened and stayed close to me. I didn’t mention that she shouldn’t have run ahead. I didn’t mention that it was her fault and not mine. Instead I just kept telling her, over and over again, how much I love her. “Baby, Daddy loves you so much. I love you so much! I’m so glad I found you!”
We talked all the way back to the room, our faces literally inches apart. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and her eyes didn’t leave me. I wasn’t grumbling or mumbling. I wasn’t hoping that she’d learned her lesson. Every part of me was rejoicing. Audibly, I was thanking God. I was so glad I could speak with her, and she with me. My words were a combination of crying and laughing. Craughing?
When we got to the room, joy filled the place once again. Everyone hugged her, and we couldn’t stop. It was a celebration in the deepest sense.
Then I went into a room by myself and had a good cry. I cried long enough that my ribs hurt from doing so. As I lay there trying to calm down, I couldn’t help but think about God’s heart toward us. It’s the same heart I have for my little girl, but infinitely greater.
And I couldn’t help but think about God’s love for you and for me. And about how his heart breaks whenever we’re far away, how it aches when we’re not by his side.
Our party-throwing God is crazy about you, and he longs to be with you. He wants to speak with you face to face. He longs to talk with you. When we pray, this is the God we’re talking with.
Excerpted from Talking with God by Adam Weber Copyright © 2017 by Adam Weber. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Adam Weber is the founder and lead pastor of Embrace, a church that has six campuses in two states. He likes typewriters, drives a Rambler, cheers for the Cincinnati Bengals, and has four chickens and a dog named Daisy. Adam, his beautiful wife, Becky, and their kids live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Fun fact: He once made worldwide news when a turkey vulture fell out of the sky and onto his back porch during an ice storm. Google it. Find out more at iamembrace.com and adamweber.com.
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Publication date: March 21, 2017