Have you ever lost a child while you were shopping somewhere?
It’s a scary experience. First you look around the area where you THINK they are supposed to be. If you don’t locate them, then you let someone from the store know what’s going on. That usually gets a good deal of help looking for the missing kid – and very quickly.
Many stores in the US have a protocol called “CODE ADAM” designed for just such an emergency. Once a parent reports a missing child, the store makes an announcement over the public address system of the store that sounds something like this: “Attention all associates and shoppers – CODE ADAM – This is a missing child alert. If anyone sees a 7 year old boy with brown hair and blue eyes wearing a blue New England Patriots t-shirt, please alert a team member so we can get him back to his Dad.” What is also happening behind the scenes is that several team members have predefined roles. First, the doors to exit the store are closed, and store security staff and managers are triple-checking anyone who wishes to leave. No young boys with brown hair and blue eyes are leaving until the parent confirms it is not his missing son. Some team members are dispatched to all of the restrooms. Others check each and every dressing room. Still others check the employee break rooms and stock areas.
Most of the time little Johnny was just distracted by one of the store displays or his Dad wandered to the left when Johnny wandered to the right. Thankfully the missing child is usually found in short order. Quite often an adult will notice the wandering child even before a CODE ADAM is called. They’ll see the youngster looking around, evidently lost; so they’ll ask “Who are you looking for?” Once the child has been brought to a store employee that leads to an announcement alerting the parent that they should come and claim the child.
But, as one might imagine, there are times when the front door teams have been able to stop a kidnap attempt, too. Not all “lost kids” are lost, some of them are being abducted; and that’s when the CODE ADAM protocols and training are most appreciated. When kids get saved, everybody rejoices.
Today’s verse says IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME.
If you’ve ever been the parent of a child lost in a store, you know precisely what “looking wholeheartedly” feels like. There’s a sense of urgency tinged with fear that drives you to action. No parent worth their salt says, “Gosh, I haven’t seen Johnny in a while. As soon as I’m done looking at these fishing rods I think I’ll wander around and see if he shows up.” Not hardly !!!! There’s a deep-driven sense of urgency, to be sure. Because even if the child hasn’t figured out that they are lost yet, the risks of being away from the protection and oversight of the parent remain. Moreover, they increase as time passes.
If you have not come to the point in your life yet where you’ve made Jesus your Lord, in some ways your like the lost child in the store. You may not even know that you’re lost. Or you may be at the point where you’re moving from aisle to aisle looking for the answer that brings peace. It could be that your world is in upheaval and you’re desperately searching for some answers.
If that’s you, the words of today’s verse hold great promise. God the Father promises IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. So make HIM the answer to the question “Who are you looking for?” Don’t be satisfied to search for some idea of peace or an abstract concept of joy or forgiveness. Search wholeheartedly for HIM, the God who loves you and opened the way for you to be His child.
Some folks are just wandering around the store, and they don’t even know they are lost. But like the youngster focused on the shiny new bike and oblivious of the serial killer who has selected them as his next victim, unawareness of the danger makes the situation worse. If you’re one of the “unaware lost” I have some good news for you.
God has initiated a CODE ADAM … He’s looking for you. He has been since the first Adam sinned. God’s CODE ADAM has Jesus as its leader. He’s looking for you. Don’t become the next victim of the enemy who had already taken so many out of the arms of their loving Father in heaven. These rescues work best when both parties are actively looking for one another, in stores and in life.
The best outcome is when you find the Father or when the Father finds you. When kids get saved, everybody rejoices.