Trace – Follow or mark the position of something or someone with one’s eye, mind, or finger. A TV show came out in 2002 and ended in 2009 called Without a Trace. It was basically about a special FBI unit that dealt with missing persons cases, and their main goal was to find those who had been considered missing. I watched quite a few episodes and some of the things that came out of it really sparked my interest about how a person can “go missing.” The investigators would bring out the importance of time, location, and motive in almost every study. The time element was an important factor because the more time that passed, the further a person’s whereabouts would be compromised. The “trail” would become cold very quickly and the possibility of finding the missing person would lessen with each moment of every day. The location covered many different dynamics and the investigators would want to know where the person was at a certain time and trace their location up to the point they went missing. Their location was vital information in helping the investigators pinpoint where to start from and how to go from point A to their point B. If they believed foul play was involved the motive of the person kidnapping the victim would need to be established to see where the criminal would be taking the victim and what their plans were for them. Of course, these three factors were just a small part of an elaborate way of tracing a person’s location in order to find them.
When I think of God’s Hand and how many people He put in my life, I marvel at how God would reach out to me and offer me salvation. I also marvel at the way He has continued to guide me through His grace as I “find’ more and more of His great plans for me and my world. I say my world because this is the world I live in, and the people I come in contact with, whether for a short time, or for all my life, are intricate parts of how God found me and how I continue finding more of Him.
In my life, time is also very important. The time I take every day cannot be replaced, and if I choose to lose myself in my wants and desires, I start to lose what God wants for me in His great will. The great thing about God is I am not lost “without a trace.” God is always watching and caring for me and working His plan for my best. In Jeremiah 29:11 Gods Word says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Boy, that is awesome news isn’t it? God’s caring for me is not lost in the shuffle of life and His great love for me is shown by how much He wants to maximize my days and bless me. God’s love for me is evident in Jesus teaching where He says in Matthew 10:30, “He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail-even numbering the hairs on your head.” Keep in mind, that is the Son of God, telling us what God the Father is like and how much He cares for every detail of our life. Don’t ever forget how much God wants to guide us and keep us close to Him and every day is an opportunity to grow closer, not further away, from God.
When we think about location, we see a God who watches us when we are awake and asleep. He doesn’t go on vacation when it comes to keeping up with where we are and what we are doing. Remember God is the One who commanded us to GO!! Go where? Wherever He sends us! That is probably one of the most difficult things for believers to accept! You see, going can mean staying in one town, all of your life, and raising your kids in that town so they get that home town feel…blah blah blah. You know the user friendly routine of most Christians. But it could be, or possibly can be, or might be that God wants us to GO to another location. I’m just sayin…. He might want us to move away from the comforts of “little town America” and get out there in that big ole world and make some changes of our own. If that’s the case, then location is very important. Of course, we know that we can bloom wherever we are planted because He is in us. Just make sure you know that your garden is growing where God wants it to, and that your life is making a significant impact in the location where you can serve Him best!!! I know my family has been moved literally “all over the country” and God has allowed us to see His mercy and grace come alive in areas we never thought we would travel to, much less live in. His protection and calling on our children’s lives were a result of this traveling that God put us through and I don’t regret any of the “locations” of God’s Call. Why? Because He was right there with us and we could trace His hand on those moves through the lives that were touched. If you have shut down and are not listening to God’s call, then maybe you need to take your hands off your ears and listen for the call of God in the area of “location.”
The last thing that was brought out in the show “without a trace” was the motive. The why of what happens is a big part of the core reasoning for it. I could easily say, “why did God choose to use me?” The many times I failed God were paled by the overwhelming forgiveness that only He can give. His motive was to use a very weak, and unworthy person like me to show His grace, and His mercy. For that, I must praise Him and thank Him with a devoted life!! I must!! His motives are seen in the purity of His commitment in sending His Son, Jesus to die for my sins when I least deserved it. His motives are seen in the many times He forgives again and again, and offers me more chances to pour my life out for Him. His motives are felt in the blessed satisfaction of knowing that I am no longer lost “without a trace”, but found in the grip of His grace. A grace that compels me to find others as well, and share the awesome realization that Jesus is alive, and His hope is for all who will come, and repent, and believe.
As for me, I am a part of a very specialized unit called “the saints” who are going about seeking the lost, reclaiming those who have strayed, and helping them find where they need to be. With God. If you ever lose touch with me, I hope you will always be able to find me where God is working, and that I will be working there too. That way you can always trace me to where I need to be in my life, serving God. If you have a prodigal heart and your desires for what you want have led you astray, come back to God. He wants to locate you in the center of His Will and start making every day count for Him. Then you will be able to trace what God has done in your life and see evidence of His mighty hand. I hope you have that kind of heart and that it is your desire to be “found” in Him and not “lost” without Him. If I’m choosing, found is the one I choose, with a trace of salt in my life.
The Pilgrimage continues…..