Recently, I read an article entitled “A Caring Cowboy.” It speaks of a joyful restoration of family, of how one member was brought back into the fold. This tale tugged powerfully at my heart stings. It reminded me of our great accountability as children of God to keep alert for our Christian brothers and sisters as we journey toward the golden shores of glory. Let me share the story with you:
A large family loaded all their earthly possessions into a covered wagon pulled by a four-horse hitch and set out to join fourteen other families leaving Arkansas for Texas and the promise of a new land. Rolling through rain, hail, and blistering hot days, and fighting off insects at night, the wagons rolled across the plains of what is now Oklahoma. One afternoon a cloud of dust appeared on the horizon behind the wagon train. The wagon master halted the column and drew them into a circle. The men reached for rifles, while the women gathered the children into the center of the wagons. But in a few minutes, it became apparent that the dust was caused by a lone rider, carrying a parcel across his saddle. After calling out that he meant no harm, the cowboy drew near and stepped off his horse. And from the bundle he unwrapped a small boy, less than two years old. A cry of recognition tore from the throat of the baby’s mother when she saw her seventh child beside the dusty rider. The toddler had somehow fallen unmissed from the wagon, and the cowboy found him sitting in the trail—calmly waiting for someone to come back for him. How many of us are on life’s “wagon train” headed for the Promised Land, and so intent on our journey that we do not miss those of God’s children who fall off along the way?
I fear that the COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us a “little crazy” lately. In the midst of these uncertain days, never forget that God is sovereign over this whole big universe and He loves you. Even when we cannot clearly follow His hand, know that God is working out His perfect will through the ages—even in these presently challenging days. Remember the two great pillars of your Christian faith—(1) “The Great Commandment” to love your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40) and (2) “The Great Commission” to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). These two great declarations from God to humanity are not to be stored in some dark, forgotten place just because we are experiencing hard times—no, these vital truths are to be lived out in all times and in all places. So, I deeply encourage you to use the opportunity of a stirred soul to make a fresh commitment to your Lord and to those among us who are in danger of “falling off the wagon” . . . or, worse yet, have already hit the ground.