If you find it hard to think of God as a loving father, then think of Him as the Good Shepherd.
If you’ve ever been in Chandler, AZ in the winter, you may have noticed herds of sheep in various fields. They winter in the valley and in the spring they’re herded up to Mogollon Rim or the White Mountains pastures. They take the Heber-Reno Sheep Driveway established in 1918 covering about 6 miles a day.
The shepherds are responsible for every single sheep in the herd. If one wanders off, someone has to go after it.
Jesus said, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” ~Matthew 18:12-14
Back in the mid ‘80s, I was a tour escort on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. One week, I had the largest group ever – 28 people. Any more than that, they would have sent a second escort to help. One day, I was trying to gather all 28 people at a given time in downtown Caracas, Venezuela after an hour or so of shopping. Every time I’d try to take a head count, a couple of folks would see something interesting and wander off. I’d run and get them back and two more would slip away into a shop. It was like herding sheep.
When I read that passage from Matthew, I think about that experience and how God loves us so much that He’ll care about the sheep that wander off or the ones that are lost.
The most comforting Bible passage is one that is as popular as the Lord’s Prayer: the 23rd Psalm, it’s first line alone can reassure you in times of trouble.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Keep saying that aloud, over and over again and you’ll be comforted.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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