A sheep, that’s all I am.
My needs? To be fed, to be tended to, cleaned up once in a while. Just like any other animal, that’s all there is. Basic necessities of life. If I am hurt, care for me. If I am wandering, find me. If I am broken, let me heal.
A sheep, that’s me.
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.” John 10:14
Jesus Christ calls Himself the Good Shepard. Not just the shepard, but the good shepard. The One who tends to the sheep, the One who looks after the flock and the One who searches for scattered sheep.
Jesus promises to provide these basic necessities of life. If you are hurting, the shepard cares for you. If you are wandering, the shepard will come find you. If you are broken, he helps heal you and waits patiently as you do.
Sometimes, I scatter.
I run. I turn my back on the shepard, on the flock I am foraging with and the insistent nudges of the staff guiding my way. I just go. I get scared. I feel overwhelmed. I don’t understand the road I am traveling on. It doesn’t make any sense to this sheep. So, I run.
What does a shepard do with a sheep that has once again left the fold? How does Jesus, my Shepard respond? He searches for them. He leaves the flock and looks high and low, to reclaim that sheep. Not giving up until it’s found. I love that part. Jesus searches, looks, and doesn’t stop, until I am found.
Ah, comforting, isn’t it?
How does a shepard get the sheep back to the flock? He lifts them up from right where they are, no matter what condition they are in, He wraps His arms around them and carries them. Yes, Jesus accepts you just as you are, and lifts you up and carries you! It’s here, in this moment, I abandon myself to His arms and let Him carry me. I allow Jesus access to my heart to take my hurts, my brokenness and care for me. Heal me.
Do you want to be healed?
It’s a curious thing about how the shepard brings that sheep home, lifted high upon his shoulders with a firm grip on their feet. See that? Jesus Christ, our good shepard, carries us and then He makes sure we stay right there on His capable shoulders. I suspect the shepard needs to keep that sheep in it’s place, secure and safe. Otherwise it might try to scurry off. I know I would.
You see, the closer I get to the destination that the Shepard is bringing me towards, the more I fight Him and want to run. I seek His comfort, yes. But I may not like where we are walking. Do you know what I mean? Walking down the road, not liking the sights you see, but knowing you have to take another step, move through one more thing, to get where He’s bringing you.
You ask yourself, do I really want to go?
Jesus is the Good Shepard, He knows me. He is leading me along the way, He is nudging me forward, He is picking me up helping me walk and going after me when I run. How blessed am I to have such a shepard?
You may not like the road you are walking down, or the ways in which you get there. But fear not, you have a Good Shepard leading you, guiding you, protecting you, carrying you and healing you. All you have to do, is walk.
Trust the Good Shepard of your soul. Abandon yourself to Him today. Release yourself from figuring out the journey. Let Him fight for you.
Just take one more step.