What the Shepherd speaks to us?
Hello Sweet Friends, It seems we so often hide from brokenness. Many of us live seeking perfection avoiding any chance of pain; while others stay on the sidelines of a mediocre life afraid of stepping out into the "uncomfortable" unsure of what it may cost and they miss any chance of the full life promised; still others live in wounds believing they will never be enough. And sadly some of this is caused by those that call themselves Christians, yet look to those who have fallen with judgemental eyes, instead of recognizing the celebration called for by just one wandering sheep that has come home....the example set by Jesus himself.
Jesus refers to himself as the Shepherd. The good shepherd that is willing to leave the 99 to go after the ONE that is lost. I know I have spoken before of this analogy, but it has been sometime, and I wanted to share it with those that have just joined us here, and partly because it is on my heart today. You must understand the sheep and the shepherd to fully understand the relationship that Jesus calls us into.
Sheep by nature have poor eyesight. Their eyes attract bugs and are prone to infection, so to prevent both the shepherd covers their eyes in salve. A sheep can barely see, so it relies fully on the voice of the shepherd. When a sheep wanders from the path, the shepherd goes looking for the lost.....even one. It is said that when the shepherd found the sheep, he would break the legs of the sheep and then carry the sheep around his neck until the sheep healed. This put the sheep next to the voice of the shepherd, so that it would later know the voice and would trust the voice that carried it while it was healing. And when the time came for the sheep to stand on its own, it would stay close to the voice that it trusted and knew to lead it on the right path.
He calls himself the shepherd. He calls us the sheep. And this world and all of the "things" have become like salve hindering our spiritual vision leading us astray. We must rely on His voice to keep the path that He has destined for us, but for many it takes us becoming broken to find this reality. While many condemn those that are broken or we condemn ourselves for falling, it is those that have surrendered during brokenness that truly learn the saving powers of their shepherd. It is the broken that are pulled in close. It is the broken who can know the true power of redemption. It is the broken that once healed are able to go in full obedience, because they trust the one who leads them.
As this revival has happened at our school, it has missed very few. It has touched deeply children that even at their age have known pain and have wandered from His path. And I have seen in the eyes of other children doubt (just as I see in adults), ......Not her, not him, they couldn't possibly change? The truth is that for some the change comes with a much greater price, because some don't have those loving arms at home offering support and encouragement. Some don't have parents to lead them, or parents that have been on their knees praying for breakthrough, and for them, they will have to stand firm in a way that no child should have to alone. They will need every ounce of encouragement and every ounce love they can from those that are around them. Deciding to change is certainly not easy, but the rewards are eternal and internal for those that stay the course! And there are women among us that are in the same place.....they want to change, but it means surrendering their entire lifestyle and their friends, because they don't fit on the narrow path, and it is hard and they need us...... not with judgemental eyes, but with loving arms cheering them on!
I wonder how many of you feel like you are too far off of the path or how many of you have looked at another and thought not him/her...they couldn't possibly change? The prodigal son teaches us not only forgiveness, but that we should celebrate and throw a feast when the lost come home....even ONE! That is what Jesus would do and it is time we stop asking what he would do and do it!
Today, will you seek to surrender your brokenness to the one healer, and find that your brokenness could be what saves your life as you become fully dependent on Him alone? Today, if you are not in a place of brokenness, will you reach out to someone who is and give them words and encouragement that you believe in them and you will stand by them? Will you take it a step further and actually demonstrate that belief?
Your pain has purpose! And sometimes it is simply to place you around the neck of your Savior so that you learn to difuse all of the many voices and intune to His voice alone!
In His Wings,