"Our Lord Jesus...that great Shepherd of the sheep."
Hindsight being twenty-twenty, I can look back over my life and see God's providential guidance consistently plotting my path, though I can remember at times feeling no sense of any path whatsoever, feeling more lost than led.
And yet, all the while, God's hand was firmly holding mine, with unflinching faithfulness. His rod at the ready, His staff securing my every step.
Even those prodigal steps I took that carried me far from home could not carry me outside of His reach, or outside of His heart.
So you think you've gone too far, that Heaven's hand just goes so far? I can tell you, as a beneficiary of God's gloriously fuzzy math, that He who leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one (my apologies to the ninety-nine), the One who screams "seventy times seven!" in the face of my sin, still tirelessly and tenaciously seeks out the lost.
When this path leaves us bruised and bloodied, His heart bleeds and bends toward us to bind up our wounds, to take us tenderly back into His arms. He does not leave us to navigate life's labyrinth on our own, but has immersed Himself in the maze, and joined us in the journey, with a single eye on leading His loved ones back home.
"I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick."