“For the Son of man is come to seek
and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 (KJV)
A British poet, Francis Thompson, (1859-1907) a man of modest ability, lived in London England for some years and became addicted to opium. His most famous poem was entitled, The Hound of Heaven.
Opium was freely used by the poor and wealthy alike to mask pain and a multitude of other medical symptoms. Many became addicted to opium.
For example, the great British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833) took opium for a painful illness and became addicted to it.
Thompson was reduced to selling matches for a living and to support his addiction. He lived for some years on the streets of London.
It took a kindly couple with some money to rescue Thompson from the gutter with the promise to publish his writings.
The reason for Thompson writing The Hound of Heaven was because he underwent an evangelical conversion later in his life. As he reflected on his tragic life of pain, poverty and addiction, he sensed that the Lord had been pursuing him for years.
He had dodged here and there in his efforts to get away from God but God had persisted until He finally found Thompson.
The poem opens with the lines:
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him down the arches of the years;
Thompson concludes his poem when God finally captures him with these words:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!…
I am He whom thou seekest!
So Thompson has his Creator tell him that seeking satisfaction in opium, or any other false help in this life is not good. What Thompson saw in the end was that his search for satisfaction, peace, and hope in a dreary world was only to be found in God.
None of us will ever be at peace with the many attractive, but useless amusements of this world. We must come to the end of ourselves and realise that nothing in this life is going to satisfy our craving for love and eternal life.
We belong in God’s presence as Thompson finally realised. He then blessed the Hound of Heaven for pursuing him until he could run no longer. Then he knew that it was the Lord all along that he was really seeking.
Perhaps today your achievements in life have left you without the peace and contentment you crave so much. Or else your pain and suffering have made you give up in despair.
You must get yourself back to the One Who made you and is calling out to you to come and find the relief and security you desire. Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost.
Accept the fact that you are lost and cry out to Jesus. He waits to hear your call.