Lost your way?
Tired or weary?
Injured or troubled?
Hungry and famished for authentic relationship?
It’s time to lie down.
In a world of do, do, do, and go, go, go, and act, act, act?
It would hardly seem the time or the place to lie down when there is so much to accomplish and achieve. Even though we’re scattered, lost, lonely, tired and weary, sad, unsure, worn out, injured, troubled, weak, and famished for relationship, we keep doing. We keep going. We keep trying. We keep acting, accomplishing, and achieving. It’s just what we do. Right?
Today’s name of Jesus offers an entirely different response to the worrisome, lonely, fearful, exhausting, and activity-driven life style we lead much of the time.
“I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus says. John 10:11, 14
“I tend my flocks like a shepherd. I gather the lambs in my arms and carry them close to my heart,” offers Jesus. Isaiah 40:11
All those cares and worries in our lives?
“I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
I will save my flock and they will no longer be plundered. I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd,” says the LORD. Ezekiel 34: 11-17, 22-23 NIV
Jesus says he is our Good Shepherd. He will lead us, guide us, tend us, care for us, provide for us and protect us.
He looks out for us.
He rescues us.
He brings us to good pasture.
He makes us lie down.
He makes us eat.
He searches for the lost and the strays that have left us.
He heals us.
He strengthens us.
He shepherds us with justice.
And He lays down His life for us.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. John 10: 14-16 NIV
Do you notice what kind of activity is keeping the flock busy and what kind of condition they are in?
When clouds come in and darken the land, the sheep scatter.
They are weak.
Attacks from the outside cause them injury and loss.
Though they try, they are unable to find their way.
They seek good and safe pasture, but fail.
They need a Shepherd.
He brings them to pasture. They can graze and become strengthened. They can lie down and rest under the watchful, loving eyes of their Shepherd. He keeps them close to His heart. There is no need to fear. There is no impetus to do things on their own terms or in their own way. They trust and follow.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, wants to take us to higher ground. There we will eat our fill of His endurance, His joy, His power, His peace, His grace, His mercy, His strength and His love. There we will lie down and rest in Him. He will heal our hurts. He will bind our broken hearts. He will blow away our anxiety and fear. He will comfort our sorrows. He will lead us where we are most needed and will be most able to live the life we were meant to live.
“…that Great Shepherd of the sheep, will equip us with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV
What must we do?
Follow the Shepherd. Lie down. Rest. Then be equipped with everything good for doing the will of the Shepherd and follow again. Lie down. Rest. Then be equipped with everything good for doing the will of the Shepherd….
It’s an altogether different alternative to the do, do, do, and go, go, and go kind of life.
Let’s follow, lie down, and rest. Then be equipped with everything good for doing the will of the Shepherd. Sounds good to me! How about you?