Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good Shepherd

A great deal has happened this week. As I ponder the news of babies, news of hardships, news of death and the joy of rebirth my mind turns to the Shepherd. Only He can make sense of it all. This week I had a dear friend's husband pass away expectedly, but never prepared for such a shortened life to end. The very thing we are all after, we are all chasing suddenly knocking at the door brings a whole new reality, perspective and readiness to our lives. There are threats of earthquakes and tsunami's as well as threatening phone calls to someone I love. Talks of jobs lost, illnesses undefined, marriages lost and started, hitting a raccoon in my car making me feel sick to my stomach, flu-like symptoms as epidemic panic sets in, economic melt down, and gosh........ should I go on? The good news, God is faithful in our little lives in these tough times and then when we realize how big our lives are to God, we are blessed.
It is 4H time here in the hill country. We see lots of trailers driving around packed with sheep and goats, but mostly sheep. Don't know where they are being hauled off to, but don't want to know either. Packed in like sardines, scared to death of what in the world are they doing zipping down a highway at 70 miles an hour, looking out from between the bars with stressed red eyes and open mouths. Not a site I like to pull up next to at a stop light. But I think to myself this seems like how the world offers to usher us off, but God ushers us off so differently. He uses silence, peace, grace as His method of leading, never separating Himself from us. Reassuring our steps cause He has called us by name. So that we never have to know or feel what it feels like to be flying down the highway or packed in like sardines. It's just us and God. He gives us such glimpses of who He is, and how deeply He cares for us by placing us in His hands. We are SO in His hands.
I have had the privilege to be by someone's bedside as they pass as well as being close with another to have the story shared that as we go God takes over. So much of life we think we are in control and yet these two experiences I have witnessed let me know how little we know of control. When Jesus was led in before Pontious Pilot he did not speak. When he was given the opportunity to defend himself before the crowd he did not speak. He did not have to because He knew God was in control.
Is. 53:7, "Yet He opened not His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth". We don't have to open our mouth because God does all the talking for us, He does the work for us, He leads us by the hand into the promise land and to His side without us having to say A word or having to say THE word. He does it in such a sweet way, in His perfect timing, but also timing it perfectly for us. The events leading up to someone's passing can be looked upon as timely and succinct with His perfect will and design for our lives. Even the mysterious sudden deaths have a way of working all things for His purpose and plan. Ps. 44:22 Paul compares believers as sheep for the slaughter consoling them with truth that although many die and are killed none are ever separated from God and His love. 2 Cor.5:6-8 "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord". What more could any of us want or ask for except to live a little longer with our loved ones maybe, but the alternative is so far better than we even can imagine. It may look like this road these sheep are on in this picture where we can't see what is up ahead and look like a dark forest, but when we know God we are not afraid, it is not a scary thing, we can trust God for everything knowing He is with us where we are as well as just around the bend. God is in charge and He shuts our mouth so that His voice can be heard. Christ's love conquered death and because of His love, we are too, more than conquerers. Rom. 8:38 "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
Unlike those sheep I see in the trailers that are being separated from everything they understand about life, separated from their kids, separated from the grassy fields, separated from their shepherd who takes care of them and knows each one by name, nothing can EVER separate us from God, our Good Shepherd.

1 comment:

  1. This is profound and poignant. Through social media and especially through WorldPrayr I am exposed to so much need that it is easy to feel overwhelmed and heavy laden. However, you remind me that I'm just a sheep, the shepherd's job is not mine and I need to fancy myself smart enough to figure it out.

    Instead, I will choose to have faith in our Shepherd, He's perfectly qualified and shows it to all who look up. mcP

    I love your spirit, every time I see it. Keep bloggin' ... mcP


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