Build-A-Bear became a fad when I was in elementary school. It was the thing to do for birthday parties as a 10-year-old. After begging and pleading my mom, I finally got my golden ticket to the store to build my very own best friend.

I remember the joy of putting the stuffing in the bear with the big machine, placing a tiny fabric heart inside the bear’s chest, grooming the bear, and picking out beautiful accessories to dress my bear. But the best part was creating a birth certificate for the fuzzy creation.

I named my precious handiwork Bethany. I was inseparable from that bear for the next months. Bethany came to sleepovers, to grandma’s house, and anywhere I went! You can imagine my distress when she got left behind at a friend’s house and I couldn’t find her. In tears, I begged my parents to drive me all over town looking for where I misplaced her. When I finally found her again, the joy was everything.

I imagine this is how God feels about each one of us. He created us, put a heart in our chests, and calls us by name.  When one of His precious creations goes missing, or wanders away, He is relentless in pursuing us. In Luke 15, Jesus tells a parable of this exact situation. He tells a story of a shepherd who leaves his 99 sheep to go after the one who went missing. When he finds that sheep, everyone rejoices. I just know that that is exactly how God rejoices over each and every one of His creations when they are found once again.

by Susan Gali

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“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:4-6)

Father, thank You for creating me unique and for relentlessly pursuing me when I get lost. Amen.


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