Can You Imagine

This week we’re talking about how to improve at reaching lost people, and how the foundation of that is to understand and have God’s heart for lost people. A few summers ago I felt God’s heartbeat in a way that it almost burst out of my chest

My wife and I and our then five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter went to Water Country USA, a big water park in the area. They have a bunch of huge kiddie pools. Each has slides and all kinds of fun stuff. We played in one kiddie pool for awhile. Then we walked about 200 yards to the next one. My kids were repeatedly going down one big slide. My wife walked over to the other side of the pool where they had a big mushroom shower. Eventually my son Dawson asked, “Where’s mom?” “She’s over there by the mushroom water shower thing,” I answered. “Can I go get her?” he asked. “Sure” I answered, “Go ahead.”

About five minutes later I grabbed my daughter and said, “Let’s go get Mommy and Dawson.”
So we went over to the shower. My wife Jen was still under it, but all by herself. I asked, “Where’s Dawson?” She said, “What are you talking about?” “I sent him over about five minutes ago.” “I haven’t seen him.”

I started looking all over the kiddie pool. I didn’t see him. I thought, “Don’t freak out Vince, he’s here. Ummmm, blue bathing suit.” I looked for a blue bathing suit. No. “Uhhhhh, light brown hair.” No. “He’s in one of the slides.” No. I screamed, “Dawson?!?!”

It had now been over ten minutes since we had seen our son. I continued to look. Soon it had been over fifteen minutes. I started totally freaking out. Like hyperventilating freaking out. The kiddie pool was sort of in a valley. I ran up the hill to the sidewalk so I could have a better view of the whole pool. I looked down. He was not there. My heart started racing. My throat clenched up. My head was pounding. I looked again. He was not there. I wanted to die.

I looked up the sidewalk to my left. No. I looked down the sidewalk to my right. No. I looked in the pool again. No. It had been twenty minutes. I looked up the sidewalk to my left. And I saw the flash of a blue bathing suit amongst the hundreds of people. I squinted. Light brown hair. I called out, “Dawson? Dawson?!?” The blue bathing suit with light brown hair was about fifty yards away from me. I yelled, “Dawson?” Finally the child in the blue bathing suit with light brown hair looked up, and it was my son. “Dawson!” He saw me and his face went white. I ran towards him. He ran towards me and dove into my arms.

“Where were you?” I asked. “I went to find Mommy” he said. “I thought she was at the pool we were at before.” I said, “You went all the way to the other pool by yourself?” I held him tight.
And suddenly I realized that what I had just experienced for a few brief moments must be somewhat like God’s entire existence. The bible says that we are God’s dearly loved children. God loves us even more than we love our own kids. And Jesus said that those without God are his lost children. Can you imagine God’s heart? Can you imagine how frantic it must feel to be God, with countless lost children wandering around? Can you imagine the pain he must feel?

If we’re going to reach lost people, that’s exactly what we must imagine. We need to hear and have God’s heart.

We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Until then … be careful in airport bathrooms.

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