Over two years in the planning, it started off as a dream vacation – 4 families with 11 kids spending the week in a beautiful log cabin in the Pocono Mountains. There was something for everyone – quiet spots for reading, a swimming pool only 2 miles away, foosball and billiards, wireless internet, and an amazing set of little paths to explore.
After several days at the cabin, Becca and three of her younger cousins set out to “discover” the lesser traveled paths. After realizing that the kids were no longer within earshot of the cabin, we adults (and older teens) set off through the forest, loudly calling for them. An hour passed and still no sign of them. They were lost and we needed help. A phone call was made to the State Police and friendly neighbors joined the search. Our dream vacation was turning into a nightmare. I saw a car pull out of the driveway next to an uninhabited cabin near ours. Two men drove by me quickly. I scanned the back seat of their car and memorized the license plate number. Did these two men have our kids? I hated even thinking such thoughts but I had watched too many movies to not at least let the thought cross my mind. Through heavy forests, on roads, and through neighboring housing developments we continued searching but found no sign of Becca, Owen, Jessica or Josie.
By the grace of God, our kids were found and returned to us about an hour later. That night we had a great conversation about our God who came to seek and to save those were lost. As I’ve reflected back on what it felt like to be a parent and lose your child, I think I understand why Luke 15 states so emphatically that there is much rejoicing in heaven every time a lost sinner is found!