Have you ever been out on a most exciting adventure, whether it be a road trip, family vacation, or maybe a hike up the local canyon that you have explored a hundred times in the past? You begin to look around and are hit with the realization that you just might be lost! At this point a part of you would like to turn around and go back to where you came from. However, the trail you just tread was not clearly marked, and so maybe moving foward would be best to gain higher ground. Maybe then you could see the whole area. But where is that peak that you were heading for and why is it not visible? Well, if you have not had this experience it is lonely, disheartening, and frustrating! That happened to me while hiking a canyon that I felt I knew pretty well. My two friends and I had been hiking for two long hours when storm clouds suddenly filled the sky, and we stopped to realize that we were not quite sure which direction to go next. We looked at each other and asked, what should we do? Should we go back? The peak that we were looking for was the highest in the whole canyon, but where was it? We were lost.
Life can seem like one big journey of being “lost” if we do not have a trodden path to follow or a knowledge of that peak, or our ultimate destination. Sometimes we even feel lonely, disheartened, and/or frustrated.
This picture is one of my very favorites! Truly this is what He is willing to do for each of us; seek us out when we have wandered and if needed carry us on His shoulders. Sometimes it is when we are forced to allow Him to carry us that we come to know Him best. I know that Jesus Christ is always there! You are not lost to Him, nor will you ever be!
The Savior taught most beautifully about those who wander from His fold and how He would recieve and rejoice at their return (Luke 15:4-6). He exemplified his desire and power to heal those who were lost when He visited the Nephites and invited them to bring forth “all who were afflicted in any manner…and [He] would heal them.” Those who were lost or had an affliction imparing their own ability to “come forth” were found and brought forth by maybe a friend, neighbor, or a stranger who could do so (3 Nehpi 17: 7,9).
Do you have a family member, friend, or other loved one that has wandered away from the Shepherd? The Savior has invited us to bring them forth. It is the privelage of each of us to come unto Christ, learn from Him, become more like Him, and then use the strength He gives us to go and lift others. In fact, I think He expects it of us. What a blessing to serve the Savior in lifting those lost sheep on our shoulders and bringing them forth to the Savior that they too might be close to and truly led by the Good Shepherd. He has walked the path, and He knows how to lead us safely home.
We, ourselves, may have wandered and feel lost because we feel out of place or feel that we have made a mistake of which no forgiveness is offered, but that is not true! Because of the Savior’s great atoning sacrifice none of us are hopelessly lost. The struggle to overcome the weakness of our flesh and follow our Savior Jesus Christ is no easy task. It takes a constant, consistent effort every minute, every hour, every day. We need each other to do it, but as brothers and sisters we can surely make it home to our Father.