Being lost in the unforgiving elements of winter, deep in the Pennsylvania mountains, is an unpleasant experience for sure and one that I never desire to repeat. To this day, if I ever feel even the slightest bit lost, I can re-experience some of those same fear-filled feelings. But, this blog has been titled, “Twice I was Lost.” Just when was the other time?
In the fall of 1971, I found myself in the middle of making the most important decision of my life. I had one foot in a dark and dying life condition and one foot in truth. Friends were sharing the gospel with me for the first time in my life and I was noticeably moved. They lovingly and gently told me the truth about my soul’s lost condition and sinfulness. They challenged me to read the gospel of John in the Bible and find God’s truth-filled perspective. So, during the week I was seeking a way out from my lost condition and on weekends, still unsure of which life to live, I was seeking the opposite. Don’t get me wrong; I was never one to take any decision lightly, especially one this big. I was counting the cost of becoming a disciple – a Christ follower. I had discovered it’s pretty easy to follow the lost into darkness with little resistance, but radically different to be found by and follow Jesus into the light.
Someone once told me that hell is so dark that you will not be able to see your hand in front of you. That’s lost, eternally lost. A better picture for me, though, describes hell as the absence of God. I can’t imagine any place where there is an absence of the presence of God: His creation, His love, His acceptance, His forgiveness, His Light and His salvation. Just before the Christmas of 1971, I dropped to my knees in complete surrender and I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and come into my heart so that I would no longer be “lost.” I found The Light that would guide me home. Thank God for His indescribable gift of His Son, especially at this Christmas time. Forty-three years ago I was lost for the last time. Are you still wandering? He’s waiting.