General Giuseppe Garibaldi, was a real man born in Italy, in the early 1800's. This great hero fought for a unified Italy and he was considered as the 'Father of Modern Italy'.
One evening in 1861, while marching along a mountainous area with his troops, he came across a poor, Sardinian shepherd who was in great distress. A little lamb from his flock was missing and he could not locate this lamb.
Garibaldi, consoled the shepherd and promised to find the lost lamb. Without hesitation, he commanded his troops to organize an operation to search all the mountainous ranges to recover the lamb.
The troops, carrying lanterns, eagerly went out and searched much of the whole area, but they could not find the lost lamb anywhere. When they returned, they told the General it was impossible to find one little lamb in all these mountains. Exhausted, they had abandoned the futile search and retired to their quarters.
The next morning, the General's attendant found that the General was still in bed, longer than his usual schedule. Garibaldi, rose earlier than anyone in the camp, so this disturbed his attendant. He immediately went to check on the General. As the attendant woke him, the General began to rub his eyes and then brought out from under his blanket, one little lamb lost by the shepherd.
The General had faith and had made a promise to the shepherd, so when his troops gave up and retired to bed, his pity for the poor and helpless shepherd and his little lost lamb, compelled him to search for the lamb himself. He had searched throughout most of the night and he had found it. He then bid his attendant to convey the good news and carry the lamb back to the shepherd.
This General, this hero, this man had such a compassionate heart that he went himself, throughout the night, to find a sheep for a lowly shepherd that he had just met. If a man is capable of such love, we can only imagine how much more our Lord's love is for you and I.
Jesus does not hesitate, to actively seek to find the one who is lost, the one who has strayed, the one others call 'the black sheep!' And, when He finds that sheep, lovingly he places him/her on His shoulders and with great joy, takes him/her home. There He tells everyone to rejoice with Him, because He has found one that He loves, one that was lost in this world!
Jesus concludes that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents and sincerely comes into the fold, than over all the ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.
God's love for the sinner is shown; He empathizes with their wretchedness; he sets, not only the high value on their souls, but as part of a wonderful treasure belonging to Him.
You may not think you are a wretched sinner, my friend we are all deplorable sinners. I remember a time when I thought, I'm not a bad person, I haven't murdered, stole, or done 'really bad' things. Miserably, it wasn't long before God showed me what I was capable of, and I will tell you the disgrace that I felt was almost more than I could bear.
Still, with great love Jesus came and carried this 'black sheep' back into His fold. There He forgave my sins, cared for my wounds and loved me unconditionally! He didn't mock me, he didn't beguile or mock me, He loved me!
He wants to do the same for you. And, He will never give up! He will not tire, He will not burn out, He will not choose to stop looking! No, He loves you so much that it is not in Him, to 'stop looking!' Like the General, He will be looking for you, until He finds you and brings you back to His fold!!