Its so hard when you see family or friends just struggling and dying in this world. There are so many hard things that we go through in this life. Today though I was reminded of Jesus’s excellent shepherding skills.
One of my friends had been really really struggling this past year. He had been a real encouragement in the year long Bible study in 2011-2012 and played a huge part in showing me the love of Jesus Christ. He is one of my older brothers in Christ. After Year Team though he sort of disappeared. We were all praying, calling, writing him trying to get him to come back. He had succumb to fear and comparing himself to others around him.
Just this Sunday though, as the service was ending and everything was being broken down and put up at church, I looked to the stage, and their he was. He had apparently helped with the sound and the power point for the worship service.
I was overwhelmed with joy, so happy to see my brother back. Just a few weeks ago, he took a big step and married his girlfriend and showed that even though this was scary, that He trusted God in it and knew this was the woman he was to marry.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate shepherd. Just like a quarterback on a football team, He is in complete control. He knows where His sheep are at all times. He knows when one is wandering off from the flock and He knows them all by name. He knows the gifts and talents each sheep has and what roles they play. We are those sheep. He gave up His life to save us, to give us an eternal relationship with Him but also a relationship here on earth. As we make a wrong step and fall, He gently picks us up. He is a loving shepherd, who has our interests in heart.
“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”(John 10:14-18)
Just like my friend that wandered off, there are so many people in this world, sheep that have wandered from the fold. They are lost and lonely, burnt out, struggling, attacked by the wolves of this world. Jesus came to save us from these struggles. Even though there is struggle, Jesus is in control. Even though there is pain and grief and suffering, Jesus is love and more than sufficient. As Christ’s sheep, we will suffer, but take hope in this.
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus, the ultimate shepherd, has overcome this world. He has pulled us from the clutches of death and given us an eternal pasture to settle in.