I just got lost
Every river that I’ve tried to cross
And every door I ever tried was locked
Oh, and I’m just waiting ’till the shine wears off.
– Lost, Coldplay
Lost can be one of the most helpless emotions in life. The moment when you look around, not knowing where you are, leaves you with an ache in the pit of your gut.
I remember taking Noah shopping when he was just over a year old. We were in an outdoor market in England, I turned around and he was gone. There is nothing worse than that feeling of lost.
As uncomfortable as lost is, lost seems to be a common experience in ministry. In the Bible, prophets and priests describe feeling as if they are in the wrong place. In the book of Acts, Paul keeps trying to go to Asia, God’s Holy Spirit keeps telling him, no. Paul and companions are lost.
Today in class, missionaries from around the world shared stories about being told no on their journeys and feeling lost. Ideas many had for ministry met closed doors. Opportunities people thought would happen fell through. In fact, in one way or another, we all ended up becoming missionaries because we felt lost in a previous ministry.
The language around lost was very interesting.
One missionary said, “We need the failures of being lost to enjoy the victories.”
Another shared the experience that when we are certain in our journey we rely on ourselves, but “Being lost is being dependent on God.”
Crystallizing the message, another described a long journey by concluding, “God used Kenya to prepare us to go to Côte d’Ivoire.”
This conversation completely recast my understanding of what it means to be lost. While lost is incredibly uncomfortable in the moment, it is in that space that God moves us toward new opportunities.
May we all be blessed through the helpless feeling of lost.