“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7
I had just finished taking paralyzed dog Miss Mercy out of her wheelchair in the hotel hallway and letting her into the hotel room when I returned to the hallway to help paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon out of his wheelchair and into the room. But Mr. Simeon, who most of the time will not go anywhere in his wheelchair without my holding the bar of his chair and leading him forward, with him following me, was gone! Missing! Not there! Now it’s hard not to smile at the thought of it. But paralyzed dogs are dogs after all, and dogs sometimes like to run away. Mr. Simeon, being a dog, had “run away” in his wheelchair. He had decided not to let me lead. Not to follow me. Decided he didn’t need me. Or want me. To go out on his own, independent of me, to please himself, discover, and enjoy whatever temptations there were in the world for him.
Granted he walks slowly, given his age and cumbersome wheelchair. But as far as he and I were concerned, he’d “run away.” He had wanted his independence and taken off “running”. Until he found himself in trouble, as I soon discovered when I looked down the hotel corridor. Mr. Simeon had steered himself in such a way that he and the wheelchair had “run” up against a wall and gotten stuck! Know what he did as I stood watching him after he had gone on without me? Turned his head around until he settled his stare on me, his great big beautiful eyes pleading with me, “Come rescue me!” He knew this “independence”, “freedom”, the wonderful temptation of going off on his own, without me, to follow his own desires apart from me, had been a disaster. He knew he needed to return to me.
Sound familiar? When we try to live apart from the Lord, drift away from Him, wander, stray, run away, turn our backs on Him, chase after our temptations, seeking independence, running our own lives, going in our own direction, leaving Him behind rather than trusting and following Him, we end up stuck, distressed, lost, hurting, in a mess, broken, needing rescue, etc. Those who never repent and trust in Christ as Lord, devoting their lives to Him, will spend eternity in hell and the lake of fire forever apart from God. Those who have given their lives to Christ but remain in rebellion in certain areas, or stray for a time before returning, miss out on the depths of intimate fellowship we can have with Christ on earth because of our rebellion, and may miss some of the rewards God promises His followers in heaven. Mr. Simeon realized the consequences of deciding not to follow me and wanted to return. So must we desire, and decide, to turn to, or return to, the Lord. Is it time to make a decision?