Thursday, August 24, 2006

Following The Shepherd

During my prayer time this morning, I was reflecting on my earlier reading of John 10 when Jesus is sharing the parable of the Good Shepherd. I saw this vision of a vast green field. The "usual" depiction of Jesus as the shepherd was the one that I saw. There were sheep everywhere – in large groups and also scattered about. Jesus was calm, speaking audibly for all the sheep that were near to Him to hear. To give you a little insight into my week personally, it's been a hard one. Not in the sense of tragedy or earthly woes, it's been a "push through" week in the spiritual sense. In my frustrations, I've even found myself saying, "Lord, I'm not sure I can do this. The work and devotion that you've called me to seems almost impossible to maintain." That's why it was a word from Him to me when I read John 10 this morning. In this vision, I saw myself, a sheep that had unknowingly wandered off on my own. My doubt and worry had taken me away from the fold, carrying me away from my Shepherd's voice. As the scripture describes, when I was out on my own, I had been attacked by wolves and was injured. Left unattended, I'd simply lay there, either left to die or immobile, at best. I could no longer flow with the move of the flock as they followed the Shepherd. I couldn't get up and run after them because I was injured. I needed help, for on my own, I was of no use. But, just as the parable explains, the Shepherd knows His sheep and He knew that I was in need of rescue. He didn't leave me to wallow in my frustration and worry, even after the attack had come. He didn't leave me out there alone to learn a lesson or to become afraid – He came in search of me. He found me because there is no place that I could go without His knowing, for He sees all. He didn't leave me alone to die, despite my disobedience to put my complete trust in Him alone. He came over to me, picked me up in His arms and carried me gently back into the flock with healing in His hands. I was placed back into the flock once more, resting in the peace and safety that he provided. Will I ever get to a place where I don't wander off on my own? Doubtful. But I know that Jesus, my Shepherd never takes His eyes off of me and always desires for me to stay under His mighty hand of protection.

As it states in Psalm 18, when you call out to the Lord, He will hear your cry from His temple, part the heavens and come down on your behalf. We serve a God that longs to rescue us before we get into the wolves territory. He is our Savior – He is our Deliverer. May we run to Him at even the slightest sign of our weakness, for there He is made strong.

No comments: