One word that comes into focus in today’s chapter is repent.
There are two Hebrews verbs translated to this English word. “To feel sorrow” and “to turn back”. The Greek uses a verb meaning “to feel differently after”. It’s a re-thinking that changes a perspective; mind, heart and action.
Repentance is best illustrated in the story of the prodigal son. He had a change of mind and heart that wouldn’t leave him “feeling sorry” in the pig sty. It was a strong enough mental and emotional change to move him into action, ultimately leading him home.
But this is only one of three stories that are bound together by a different word: lost.
Sheep aren’t generally malicious. They’re more thoughtless. A sheep spends its day, head down, grazing. Without perimeters set by a shepherd, a sheep can very easily get lost. With their eyes lazily focused on the blades of grass in front of their nose, it could be hours before they look up and think, “oh snap, where am I?” This is why they need attentive shepherds or, at least, reliable fencing.
A coin is even more passive. It’s an inanimate￼ object. The most vicious thing it can do is fall, bounce on its side, and roll somewhere unseen.
Mankind’s relationship with God has a lot to do with Him coming after our lost selves, and ideally ends with us coming to our senses and actively embracing HIM in return. This happens every day in countless ways. The opportunity to change our heart toward God, humbly surrender, and allow ourselves to be brought back into the sheep pen, pocket or home presents itself constantly.
What does this look like for you today? In this season? How has the LORD pursued you? How will you soften your heart to change?