My heart is heavy this week so I’m retrieving yet another post from a couple of years ago. Today you can steal a peek into my private journal. I hope you’re encouraged by how the Lord responded to my heart’s cry…
6/18/13 “Do you, the good shepherd, also protect me? Do you protect me and care for me too?”
That is all I’ll let you see! Sorry…no further details!
My journal has become, not merely a recording of my thoughts and the events in my life, but my side of a life-long conversation with God. I try to record my thoughts and prayers toward Him and how He answers and guides me as well. It’s where I talk to Him. This was my question of the day a few days ago…maybe the question of the year.
That was written in a moment this week in which I felt vulnerable and unprotected in a worldly sense. It was a cry to God to want so badly to truly grasp and sense His loving care.
I happen to be in the book of John at chapter 10 where Jesus proclaims that He is the Good Shepherd. The day that I wrote my question in my journal was the day I first began meditating on this chapter this week.
By my last post, you could see that I was discouraged last week. I am disheartened all the more this week, though.
I was also encouraged last week, though, and I am heartened all the more this week.
I count it a privilege to be among those who can say that. Discouraged yet encouraged. Vulnerable yet protected. Lost yet being guided.
A follower of Christ can, will and should experience both extremes since we are in a broken world but following Christ.
What is your experience like right now? I hope you are only encouraged and feeling guided and protected by God. If you are in a time where you also feel the opposite from the world, take heart!
He knows even the most silent prayers. The ones spoken in the heart…written on a piece of paper…typed into a Word Document on the computer. I believe He is pleased and, perhaps, most glorified when we turn to Him for our needs and desires instead of what the world might give. That is our faith playing out…it shows true belief and trust.
The day after I wrote down my question for God, I was cleaning behind furniture. I found a ball, some puzzle pieces, a forgotten craft, and a note from my husband. Seeing the year 2008 scribbled on the note intrigued me. I couldn’t wait to read his thoughts from five years ago.
It was a note from Mother’s Day that year. It had been given to me along with my gift that day which was a favorite painting, Hermann Pastoral, by a local artist, Catherine Mahoney (see picture at the top of this post).
Before I finished reading the words, the tears came. I remembered what he wrote…from John chapter 10.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
I’m writing more in my journal today…more about the Good Shepherd. I’m looking up writings by theologians on it. I want to understand what this means that Jesus is a Good Shepherd. That I have not just A good shepherd but THE Good Shepherd. I love what Dan Doriani, pastor and professor has to say about the Good Shepherd…
“Abraham, David and others functioned as good shepherds when they led Israel faithfully. But when Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd” he says it’s more than his function, it is his very nature, for “I am” is a name of God.
In Exodus 3:6 the Lord says, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.” Soon he makes the absolute statement “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:13-14). He adds, “I am the one who blots out your sins” (Isaiah 43:25, 51:12). “I am the one who comforts you” (Isaiah 51:12).
So when Jesus says, “I am,” he speaks as God speaks and claims to be God. He says, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58, 18:6). He says, ‘I am” bread, water, light, a door, the way, and “the good shepherd.’
With each “I am” saying, Jesus directs longings and needs to himself.
The law gives light (Psalm 119:105), but Jesus is the Light.
The law shows the way we should walk (Deuteronomy 5:32-33), but Jesus is the Way.
Jesus says it is his nature to satisfy our proper longings – our longing for light, guidance and protection. Therefore, we should train ourselves to turn to Jesus to satisfy our longings. If Jesus doesn’t satisfy a desire –directly or indirectly – we should at least ask if it’s a good desire.
We tend to seek fulfillment from temporal things….But these things can’t satisfy our deep desires. When Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd,” he teaches us to take our hopes to him.”
Hope for safety, understanding, love, joy, healing, peace, approval, understanding, kindness, gentleness, patience, guidance, care, protection…
Are you training to turn to Jesus to have your longings satisfied? All that He has is yours.
What does that look like for you to turn towards Him for your longings? I would love to hear what this looks like for others in their everyday life. Please share!
And if you wonder if He really cares, protects and shepherds you? The answer is YES!
Linking up this week with the following inspiring and encouraging blogs. I highly recommend visiting any and all of them!