We got the call after we had gone to bed. The phone ringing late at night never brings good news. A neighbor’s 10-year-old son was missing. The mother asked if we would pray and get others to pray they would find him.
My husband told her absolutely and we would come help.
Driving to the boy’s house, we slowly searched the road and the hills. Windows down, we called out his name again and again. We passed the boy’s grandfather walking up and down the hollow with a flashlight in hand. Tears were in his eyes.
The mayor, policemen, firemen along with a host of friends and family were already there. Fear was obvious on the women’s faces. We were trying not to cry. The men were also very concerned. We live in the mountains; there were so many places to look!
“Oh, please, Jesus …” was all I could whisper and tried not to think of other missing children searches from the news.
The young boy had been grounded to his room. Plenty mad, he climbed out his window and headed for the hills. It was just getting dark when his parents found he was gone. Now it was pitch black. A helicopter and drone were being put into action. We were being divided into teams to ensure everyone else made it out of the hills safely.
Suddenly the mother’s phone rang. It was the boy’s dad. High up on the mountain behind their house, he could hear his son but had not made it to him yet. We waited as he continued to talk on the phone and move toward his son’s voice.
After several breathless minutes, he found him in a cave! They were heading home. What relief! Whoops and cheers rang out! We huddled up to thank the Lord for the outcome.
It was hard to go to sleep after the commotion.
Lauren Daigle’s song “Rescue” played in my head, “I will send out an army to find you, in the middle of the darkest night, It’s true. I will rescue you.” That was just what happened tonight.
The boy had stormed out, angry. Whether he had intended to be so far from home so long or not, he found himself in trouble. No doubt regretting his headstrong decision; he was lost. Did he cry out? Or did he just cry?
Then, when all seemed hopeless, he heard his father’s voice calling his name. His dad had come through the darkest night to rescue him.
Many times our anger, stubbornness or sin takes us farther than we intended. But, we are not hopeless. Our heavenly Father gently calls to us, if we will listen for Him. He sent His Son across heaven and earth to save us. He is longsuffering and wants none of us to perish (2 Peter 3:9).
I have no doubt that when our neighbor reached his son, he bent down, picked him up and held him close.
Psalm 18 expresses it perfectly: “In my distress I called to the LORD. I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. … He reached down from on high and took hold of me. … He rescued me. …”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor’s wife in Prestonsburg, Ky.)