I Picked Up a Runaway
Holly Good, She Speaks! Graduate

"My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place." Jeremiah 50:6 (NIV)

I picked up a young runaway a few months ago.

She was dirty, wore baggy sweat pants and a yellow sweatshirt, and had muddy feet. I was stopped at an intersection when she sauntered across the street right in front of my car.
I continued on when the light turned green.

But I could not get those bare feet out of my mind. Those muddy, bare feet.

Why was this young girl walking across a busy intersection with no shoes on in the middle of a school day? About a mile down the road I felt the Lord encouraging me to turn around and go find that girl with the bare feet.

It was a gentle, but direct nudge I could not refuse.

I found her several minutes later outside a convenience store with a cup of water in her hand. I pulled up, rolled down my window and said, "Hey, what's going on with you?"

With little emotion she replied, "Oh nothing."

"Well...what are you doing? Can I take you home?" I offered.

"You can take me to my friend's house," she answered.

"I'd rather take you home," I said. "Where do you live?"

"Well, I'm running away from home, so you can't take me there," she said.

"Oh. Well, I would like to. Where do you live?" I asked again.

She eventually complied and trustingly got in my car. (And, oh how my heart was pounding!)
My new friend Sarah was only in 8th grade, skipping school and leaving home because she got into an argument about friends with her parents. She had been gone for two days. The previous night she had slept outside.

I prayed for just the right words to come from my mouth with my fragile but captive audience of one, on that short 18-minute ride to her house.

As I dropped Sarah off at her home, I prayed that the Lord would take over from there. I drove off and felt a peace in what He had led me to do that day.

It just so happened that a minor traffic accident had occurred around the corner as I was leaving. So I pulled over and told one of the officer's about Sarah, hoping they could also help her in some way.

Find her. Stop her. Detain her. Guide her. Protect her. Save her.

As I pray for my runaway friend each day, I realize that she is not much different from you and me. From a place we have journeyed or perhaps a place we are in right now.

Most of us have found ourselves running away at some point in our lives. Running from someone or something. Looking to escape.

Running, yet desperately hoping to be found.

She is lonely. She is angry. She feels betrayed. She feels misunderstood. She feels unloved. She is searching. She is confused. She is bitter. She wants to rest.

Oh my friend, I pray that you will have eyes to see, ears to hear and a place to finally find rest. For you are loved.

You are loved indeed.

Seek Him right now.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me today and every day. I am grateful that You bigger than all of my problems. Give me the courage and the wisdom to seek You today, regardless of my circumstances. I want to be found by You Lord. And give me a heart to be able to see and help others near me in need. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog today to hear more from Holly.

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God by Nancy Stafford

Application Steps:
Please read Luke 15:11-32. Focus on the father's actions and reactions and journal your thoughts. What does this story teach you about God's love for you?

Pray that you will have eyes to see that God's love is constant, patient and welcoming.

Reflections:
Am I running from something today? Spiritually, physically or emotionally?

How can I seek Him more today?

Read Psalm 71:20-21. Record these verses on a 3x5 card. Do you know someone you could give these verses to as an encouragement?

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:14, "'I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and will bring you back from captivity…'" (NIV)

Luke 15:32, "But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and his found." (NIV)

Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)

© 2009 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

I am glad that I have been allowed the oppurtunity to read these devotions. I am currently facing a situation at work where I felt like just quitting my job, but thanks to this I have decided instead of running away I am going to run to God who is over all, in all and and through it all. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

please, please keep writing devotionals that speak directly to me.

I'm a lost sheep.

A few years ago I wrote to you about what my pastoral staff did to me after I asked for help. My husband was violently abusive to me, my 4 yr old and my 14 yr old.
My church chose, instead, to take my husband's side.
After they refused to help, I had my husband arrested, he was thrown in jail and made to leave our home.

The church helped him hire an attorney. Church members (including a police detective, police chaplain, etc) helped him start an investigation, which my husband used to try and have me involuntarily committed to a hospital (2 days after he plead guilty in court).

I asked the previous 4 churches we attended for help as well. Each took my husband's side.

In utter despair, I wrote Pro31 ministries an anonymous letter, asking you to pray for me. I haven't stepped foot in a church for 4 years. I hate Christian women for the devious, backbiting and lying gossip they spread about me.
My 4 yr old was throwing raging fits at bed time. I had to lock him down with my arms and legs for 45 mins to an hour EVERY night. My husband cut me off from our checking account. We drank water because I had NO money for milk. I can't tell you how MUCH I hate Christian women for not helping me.

I NEVER gave up on my Savior though. He held me the night I wrote to you, begging for prayer. My Shelter. My Balm of Gilead. My Comforter. My Protection. My Rescuer placed a sentry of angels around me and NOTHING my husband or his church tried to do succeeded. EVERY plan they made in the darkness was brought into the light.

How I love Him. He will lead me back to my "resting place" one day, but for now He's my Resting Place.

He's pushing me back there, I can feel it (and if you would just stop writing these dang devotionals directly for me, it sure would feel a whole lot better!!!)

Or maybe I should say He's leading me.

Please keep doing what you're doing (no really, I don't mean that...do I? Do you really have to make me to do this NOW, Lord?)

Christine
Durham, NC

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Christine:
Girl just keep coming back here to Proverbs 31 for support as i read your letter i found myself in your words I have not lived an abusive realationship but i have felt the dispair of christian people and misistry staff letting me down. I too keep coming back to God for my streghth and love that can only come from him.
You are found here.

Anonymous Larae Weaver said...

Christine,

I had a message typed and than I accidentally deleted it. Well anyway, lets just do it this way. My heart is broken for you this morning. I can ralate to you in some ways and in others I cant but I would really like to talk with you. No matter what you are loved and cared for and so are your children. This is my email and I would love for you to take the time to email me when you get the chance, I think maybe we could share our hearts with each other and maybe gain some strength. (laraeweaver@yahoo.com)

Blogger Winnie said...

I loved this devotion, very nice. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this devotional--it is so easy to try to run from all kinds of things and try to ignore others problems at the same time.

Christine: Please remember that God does not fail, even though men/women do fail. Deuteronomy 31:8--And the LORD,it is he that goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, nor forsake you: fear not and don't be dismayed. And Joshua 1:5--There will not any man able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I(God) was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, or forsake you.

God is unfailing in His promises and He will never give us burdens that we can't handle. If the burdens are too much, then call on Him to share the weight.

I will pray for you today, Christine. I pray for your healing and for forgiveness to wash over you, and for you to trust others.

In Faith,
K.

Blogger Maressaleah said...

Christine,

I love your honesty. I love the transparency of your thoughts as you type them out. I admire your strength for fighting. I admire your obedience for writing which I believe was from the Lord to strengthen you even more.

I was in a similar situation. Not as harsh with the legal matters, but I too was in an abusive relationship, I have been a single mother of a 5 and 3 yr old for 2 years now, I too felt betrayed by the church as they asked"what did you do? and Why should we help you? How do we know you are going to help yourself?" as I sat there in tears on the verge of eviction due to the ex cutting me off financially.
Buttt, these women are right and so are you. The Lord is our strength and provider. He is our husband. He will lift us up on wings of eagles.
My favorite verse is this
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phil 4:11-13
You know what it is to be in need, but rejoice in where you are today?
Random women across the nation this morning are lifting you up...it can't be anymore AWESOME then that!
Focus on today's devotion, continue to give God the praise for your health and all you have...and then march on and use this testimony for others, because I"m sure there is another woman out there that needs your story.
FYI: Make sure to research local Foster facilities for pantry's that are 80% marked off on food, Homeless Shelters as well have pantries that are opened to the public, see if there is a single moms home locally that may be able to refer you out to some resources as well.
You are in my prayers Christine from North Carolina!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God "picked" all of us up ,we were "runaways" at some point of our lives! As for Christine you are nor a lost sheep,you are one of God's precious children!,saved by His innocent suffering and death,and his shed blood for the salvation of all mankind!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God that even though other Christian people misunderstand and totally fail us - God our heavenly Father does not. My heart goes out to Christine and other women in similar circumstances that have been betrayed and abandoned by their churches. I am so glad that you found P31. I pray for you. God bless you mightily.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouragement and kind words. I'll read them again and again when I feel like retreating.

I'm heading in the right direction, whether I like it or not, ggg.

Christine
Durham, NC

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