Birthdays are an exciting event around this house. No matter whose birthday it is, it is cause for celebration. When Chad and I told the kids that we were heading over to Uncle Jamie’s house for his 60th birthday, they reacted with screams of delight.
Upon arriving they were not disappointed. There were friends and family members in abundance, and even candy dishes set out for their grazing pleasure. (they do not get candy at home!) The backyard was huge and had big climbing trees and lots of places to play hide and seek. The cousins ran with wild abandon and laughed until their sides hurt.
We dined on catered food and every side dish imaginable and more candy, and then the kids were off to play again. Keeping track of them was hard, and me being in the throws of a very trying first semester didn’t make things any easier.
About two hours into the celebration, I finally sat down and chatted with family. I figured I had told the kids the rules enough times that they knew where they could and could not go.
About fifteen minutes later, I realized I had not seen Colton. I found Chad and asked if he knew where Colton was. He did not. We started looking all over… in the yard and the house and in the yard again.
Five minutes later, it started to get serious. Colton was no where to be found. We had searched everywhere and were going back a third and fourth time.
The party started to quiet down and I heard someone whisper, “Are they really looking for a lost child?”
I walked to the farthest corner of the yard and started to call out for Colton, but was overcome with fear. The tears flowed, but I tried to keep my back straight and pretend I was not losing all composure.
Horrible scenarios ran though my head as if every worst possible fear of mine was being realized.
I had lost my child.
He was missing.
I cried out to God, “Please Lord, I cannot stand this! I feel like I am going to burst… please Lord, I need some peace. I need to find my baby. Please help me to find your peace so I can think rationally and help search for Colton.”
It was then, approximately twenty minutes after we first realized he was missing, that I heard the four most precious words in the world.
“We found the boy.”
I held my breath until I saw him, and then I ran to Colton and hugged him with a fierce desperation. I then reached for my crying baby (I think she had sensed the anxiety) and brought her into the back bedroom. There, in that room, I sobbed like I have never sobbed before.
I cannot explain that moment of relief. I literally shook with sobs as I held onto Audrey for dear life.
I had been totally unable to comprehend my life without Colton. To imagine that he had been kidnapped or scared and lost or injured somewhere was an unbearable physical pain in my heart.
Priscilla Shrirer told a similar story in her latest Bible Study*, Deeper Still. Her child had been lost in Disney World for fifteen minutes.
Only when it was over, after she had thrown herself at the feet of our Lord in a desperate prayer, she heard a very specific message from the Holy Spirit.
It was as if God told her, “You could not bear your life without your son for fifteen minutes.”
“I gave my only son over to the enemy to be beaten and tortured and killed… all for you.”
All. For. You.
Her divine insight blew me away.
I had never before really put into perspective what it must have been like to send Jesus into the fallen world.
It was like I was experiencing God in a whole new way, and I was speechless and in awe of the awesome sacrifices He had made.
All for a wretched sinner like me.
I don’t know about you, but after that glimpse into the unparalleled and unconditional love God has for us, I sure want to make sure I am making choices that are making Him proud.
I want to make sure He knows how grateful I am.
*Pricilla’s story is also found here.