Have you ever been lost? I mean really, really lost? Well, about 6 years ago I was on a youth retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. The kids were sliding down a big hill on a billboard tarp/wrap with soap and water. It looked crazy fun, so of course I had to join the fun and ended up falling on my head. I remember the accident clearly. I got up dizzy, but fell over several times. Several people ran over and tried to offer help. A couple people felt someone needed to call a doctor.
From the time of the accident for the next couple hours I was somehow able to get back to the cabin where I was staying. Well, for the next few hours I lost COMPLETE memory. I knew how to walk, talk, etc, but every other memory was GONE. I mean totally gone. I had no idea who I was, where I was, etc. Seriously, I didn’t even know I was married, had kids, where I lived, if I had a home, if I had brothers, sisters, a mom, or a dad etc.
Although I had no long or short term memory whatsoever, I remember everything I experienced from that point forward. My first clear memory I was sitting on a porch in the middle of a woods. Keep in mind I’m in the middle of a woods with no one or nothing in sight. Again, my mind was completely void of any memory. I WAS LOST AS LOST COULD BE….. and I was frightened. It was a fear beyond any fear I’ve ever had. It was fear coupled with loneliness. Who do I call? What do I do? How do I survive? That wasn’t all. I didn’t even know my name. Again, I had no identity. ZERO. If someone asked me who I was I had nothing to tell them. No phone number, no address, no date of birth, nothing. Inside I wanted to cry, but I knew I didn’t have that luxury.
When you have no identity, every fiber of your being gets overwhelmed with an anxiety beyond anything you’ve ever experienced. It was probably a few hours of wrestling with this fear before my first memory arrived…… I WAS MARRIED…. Here is what’s crazy. That one single thought was so powerful that it crushed almost all my fears. What was weird is that at this point, I still didn’t know her name, where she lived, etc. Just knowing I was married, and belonged to someone, gave me hope. I’ve used the word HOPE a ton of times in my life, but I never experienced a hope greater than this. .
When your identity is completely gone, and you are totally lost, and you find an identity, everything changes. It’s like a kid lost at Disney. When they hear their mom’s voice, it’s life altering. Their fears are gone, and they experience a joy beyond anything you can explain.
Well, 30 years ago I had a very similar experience. I was a 17 year old boy struggling with my identity. Yes, I knew who my parents where, where my home was, I knew my brothers and sisters, grandparents, neighbors, etc. However, I was still lost. Frankly, more lost than what I described above. With that was a massive amount of fear. Although I belonged to my family, and knew I was loved, there was an emptiness and a feeling of being totally lost that is far scarier and far more lifeless than what I experienced above. Sadly, I had no idea how to fill that emptiness. I tried everything from being popular, to girls, to drinking, to cool clothes, etc. Nothing filled that emptiness. NOTHING.
Hold this thought for a second. Not sure if people know this, but in 2021 suicides are at an all time high and murders are 30% higher than previous years. This is what happens when people are alone, scared, and honestly have no identity. I get it. I’ve had many of these same feelings.
HOWEVER, the summer of my senior year I was introduced to someone that changed all this. Remember how I said I was totally lost and scared, but the moment I realized I was married, my fears were gone. It was like a little kid lost at Disney found by his or her parents. The same was true here. I went from total fear to total joy in an instant.
All throughout the Bible we learn that those who receive Christ are “Married” to God. The Bible says that those who accept Christ, are literally the BRIDE OF CHRIST. That summer of my senior year, I was a lost kid who accepted Christ as my savior. When that happened, I had the same feeling I had in that woods when I found out I was married. I went from 100% lost and scared, to 100% at peace and full of joy. Why? Because my identity. Remember the song, “Once was lost, but now I’m found”. That’s really Biblical. Remember when I said I had no identity in that woods. Well, when I was in the woods that day, and realized I was married, my identity changed. I belonged to someone. Folks, when you accept Christ, the Bible says we are born again. You belong to God. You literally get a new identity.
The reason you are lost is because of your sin. Guys, sin is turning away from the father. When you turn away from your father, you are like a lost kid at Disney. A lost kid at Disney goes from feeling like a Child to an orphan. Guys, when we sin, we become orphaned. We are on our own. That’s why so many people struggle with this idea of fear, anxiety, lack of hope, etc. We are children walking around a park without a mother or father. We wonder why suicides are up and murders are 30% higher. It’s because we have people who have no identity.
Friends, I encourage you to examine yourself. Are you lost? Yes, you may have family, friends, great neighbors, maybe even a church. Guys, the Bible says, “ 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”… Guys, these are people who may even go to church. They may even read their Bible, but they are still lost. They still have never been like a kid at the park and run to the arms of their father.
Guys, when I realized I was married, all hope was restored. The Bible says when you run to the father, this happens, “13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, “ Guys, this seal is like a big hug to a lost child who just jumped in the arms of their father. It goes on to say “14 who[d] is the [e]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14.
Here is what’s cool. When you accept Christ, your citizenship changes to. You move from a citizen of this world, to a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Guys, when I was lost, I just wanted to come home. Here is what’s crazy. That woods was beautiful. It was actually where people go to find peace. However, not for me. Why, because I knew I was not a citizen of that woods. My citizenship belonged to my wife and family in Santa Rosa Beach. Folks, your citizenship is not hear on earth. Your true joy, your true peace, etc. will only be found in the Citizenship of the Kingdom of God.
All of this was offered to you because Jesus paid for your sins on a cross. When you accept Him, your sins are cleansed and you are restored back to that marriage relationship. You move from being totally lost and full of fear, to being found and full of joy!
Are you lost? Do you need to be found? Jesus arms are open wide!