The trailer for the epic World War II movie Saving Private Ryan contains these words: “In the last great invasion of the last great war, the greatest challenge for eight men was saving . . . one.” Jesus similarly told a parable about a shepherd who searched for one lost lamb. “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4).

Christ told the story to illustrate how God won’t stop searching until He finds “the one” who’s lost, but I normally don’t see myself as “the one” needing to be found. I’m among those in the fold who think they are doing “just fine.” I’m the trained counselor who helps people, armed with the mission as a believer in Jesus to help and serve others who are lost.

But as I recently pondered Jesus’ story, God gently, but firmly, brought to my awareness that I am “the one” who is lost—really lost. I too am profoundly broken and in need of further repentance, grace, and healing.

Some of you reading this devotional know you’re “the one.” Past and present circumstances have left you and others lost in a wilderness of hurt and unable to find a way out. I pray that Jesus’ story of a loving God who won’t stop searching until He finds “the one” brings you glimmers of hope.

Others of you, however, are like me. You are “the one,” but you may not realize it—until something painful happens that drives you to your knees (Luke 15:7). Even if you are, with fellow believers, on a mission to save others, never fool yourself into thinking you have it all together.

We all are “the one” needing to be carried on Jesus’ loving shoulders (Luke 15:5).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 9:38-50