When your child is missing, there's a brief period of time when you know they must be right there.
They just can't hear me. They must be hiding. They have got to be here.
The more time that passes, the more the panic rises.
Where are they?
Why aren't they answering?
Frantically, you search and search, knowing that they must be here.
Under the bed. In the backyard. Maybe in the closet.
I don't know how much time passes before you begin thinking the worst.
It's probably not too long before your mind begins racing.
Time stands completely still.
Completely and utterly stops...life ceases...your heart and mind explode...
Where. Is. My. Child.
My brother and sister-in-law had one of those heart-wrenching experiences a couple nights ago.
My sister-in-law out for a walk with the dog. The dog that would bark if anyone came anywhere near the house. The watch dog.
My brother in the basement with the three kids. Watching cartoons...and maybe a little football.
The four-year-old goes upstairs.
The front door is unlocked.
How much time passes is unknown, but there comes a moment when mom comes back and dad comes upstairs when they realize...where is Owen?
He's obviously hiding. He's maybe fallen asleep somewhere. But where?
Why won't he answer?
Both search the house...the closets...the basement...the garage...
Did he go looking for mom? Did he open the front door and wander the Denver neighborhood knowing that mom was for a walk? Or worse...did someone come in the house through the unlocked door?
That's improbable...but when your child is missing...improbable becomes real and very terrifying...
It was freezing. It was getting dark.
Where is he? The neighbors? No one had seen him, but they join in the hunt.
And the police are called.
Because it makes sense that he's somewhere in the house, but what if...what if he's not...
My mom is called.
And I am called.
Pray. Just pray. He's missing.
My brother drives around the neighborhood.
Runs through the nearby parks.
It's getting dark. And it's so cold.
Where could he be?
Forty-five minutes is too long.
He runs back into the house hoping for good news, but the look on his wife's face tells him that in fact, the little boy has not been found.
The policeman continues his search. Calmly. Methodically. They get calls on this and normally the child is found in the home...asleep somewhere.
But what if? What if?
And they've already looked a dozen times.
Where could he be?
They, again, search the bedrooms.
Under the beds...in the closets...
The sheets...the sheets haven't been thrown off the beds...
The pillows are lifted...the ones that look completely undisturbed...
And under the pillows, the sweetest little feet that my brother had ever seen...
Laying flat under the pillows lay a small child wearing shorts and a t-shirt...sound asleep.
The life of a family unraveling as they search for a little boy that was never in any real danger.
The little boy safe and warm, and safe and warm.
Thank. You. Jesus.
God knew the whole time where Owen was.
I imagine as they frantically searched and hearts picked up speed, the Lord's eyes never left my nephew. What a beautiful picture to envision the Lord's eyes keeping watch as he slept.
God's eyes see all.
That's an incredibly uncomfortable fact when we are living in sin.
Where can I go where He will not find me?
Can I go anywhere where He won't see?
But what a relief that God sees ALL when your child is missing.
God knows. He sees. He sees.
I'm so thankful that as we prayed for my little nephew and begged God to show them where he was,
that our God knew and protected and directed.
A first-grader sitting in a classroom. God sees.
A mom leaving her child with a babysitter. God sees.
A teenager driving alone for the first time. God sees.
A group of college students spending their first night away from home in the dorms. God sees.
A family at the beach trying to keep track of all their kids. God sees.
A husband on a trip far from his family. God sees.
A daughter who has wandered far from home and the faith she knows. God sees.
A widow, alone and burdened by daily life. God sees.
A four-year-old missing as the night grows cold. God sees.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far
side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand
will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light becomes night around me,"
Even darkness will not be dark to you;
for night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.