This movie is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley – a young boy who is born in an impoverished village in India. Saroo and his older brother Guddu often searched for food and coins on trains to help their struggling mother and siblings survive. Even though they didn’t have much in the way of worldly possessions, they had so much of what mattered most. These two brothers had each other – until one day when everything changed.
As you just saw, searching for his missing brother Guddu – Saroo fell asleep on a train waiting for his brother to hopefully return. When he woke hours later – he was hundreds and hundreds of miles away from home. For three weeks, he was completely by himself. This 5-year-old boy was fighting to survive on the streets of Calcutta. Hungry – lost – and afraid – little Saroo started a search that would last for over two decades to come. And some of you could possibly relate. Now chances are that you didn’t have to survive alone in a city of over 5 million people – but many of you are surviving in another way – maybe a job you just can’t stand – or maybe you’re struggling to stay in a marriage that’s just really in bad shape – maybe your battling a diagnosis that has you scared out of your mind – or maybe you’re facing a financial mountain that seems too big to climb – and you’re searching for anything – an answer – a solution – a way out. I love what the Bible says in (MSG), King David said, “I’m hoarse from calling for help, bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God.” In other words – I’m getting tired of the search. I’ve been searching for healing of my marriage but we’re still at odds. I searched to get ahead in life but I feel like I’m falling more behind. And no matter how hard I search, I still can’t find what I want. The truth is, some of you are on a spiritual search – you’ve called out to God – and even God seems hard to find. I think there are scores of people who are realizing that there must be more to life. I think there may be some of you today who have said – surely there must be a God but how do I know what to believe? I mean, how do I know who He really is? And if there is a God, how do I even find Him? Well the good news is that God says in Proverbs chapter 8 that those who search for Him will surely find Him. The Bible says ( NLT), “Those who search will surely find me.” The good news is when you seek God, you will find Him. (Back to the story) And that’s what happened to Saroo. While on a desperate search for his family, thankfully Saroo was placed into an orphanage and eventually adopted by an amazing couple from Australia. We pick up the story years later when Saroo makes some new and meaningful friends. Although life seemed great for Saroo on the outside, his friends were not aware that Saroo was still on a search that had never ended.
When you read about Saroo’s real life search for his family, there are some inspiring facts about this true story. Saroo realized that his best chance to find his family was to find his home train station – one station among 10,000 train stations in India. So knowing he was from a warm village, he eliminated colder regions. Then – by calculating the speed of trains – times the amount of time he traveled – Saroo narrowed his search to 962 million square kilometers of potential territory. Then using the internet – evening after evening – week after week – month after month – for over three years – Saroo searched for his home town – every day from 5pm to about 2am in the morning. He estimates that he spent close to 10,000 hours searching for the family that he had lost. And here’s the key to everyone who feels lost in some kind of way – Saroo searched and searched and searched – and he never gave up. Now that reminds me of one of the most powerful verses in the Bible – from (NLT) – God says this, “You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. Desire gave you renewed strength, and you did not grow weary.” Listen to that last line again. Desire gave you renewed strength, and you did not grow weary. If you’re searching today, I want to encourage you, keep searching. If you’re searching for peace – don’t give up. If you’re searching for healing – don’t stop. If you’re searching for a career you love – keep on searching. If you’re searching for restoration of your life, your marriage – don’t ever let anything cause you to give in. Why? Because God sees your desire and He’s here today to strengthen you. In fact here’s a verse for you today, it’s in , “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
In the New Testament, in , Jesus tells three stories about people searching. In one of the stories it’s about a woman who has ten coins and then loses one. She then tears up the whole house searching for that one lost coin. Then Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who has a hundred sheep and loses one. The shepherd then leaves the 99 that he has just to go search for that one lost sheep. And then the third story in is about a father who has two sons and one of the sons leaves home – and the father waits and watches every day for that son to come home – and when the son decides to return home – the father throws the biggest party you’ve ever seen because his lost son is now found. Each story reflects how God feels about us – He’s searching for us. For those of you who are on a spiritual search – think about this – what if the God you’re searching for is searching for you? Think about it. What if the God you’re searching for is searching for you. You need to know that God says in , “I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.” What if the God you’re searching for is searching for you? Inviting you to come to Him? Inviting you to come home. If you’re hurting today, you need to know that He’ll bandage you because He offers healing. If you’re tired – our God wants to strengthen you today. He’s searching for you and He promises if you search for Him you will find Him. In fact, says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. In fact, perhaps that’s why you’re here today. You’ve been searching for a long time and your search is finally over.
Every year, Saroo celebrates his birthday on May 22nd – but that wasn’t the day he was born – that was the day he was found. At all of our campuses let’s bow for prayer.
Those on search for healing, restoration – prayer
Those on a spiritual search – God shaped hole – tried to fill with other things – only God